People’s Bank extends unparalleled support to the nation during COVID-19

Friday, 4 September 2020 00:25 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Credit extended during 6-month period ended 30 June accounted for 45% of total sector credit extended during said period on a net basis
  • On consolidated basis, relief extended to close to 460,000 retail customers and over 21,000 business owners
  • Bank introduced multiple loan schemes at highly-concessionary rates of interest to benefit customers in priority sectors in line with Govt. objectives

People’s Bank recently announced the results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2020, reporting consolidated loan book growth of over Rs. 190 billion, accounting for close to 45% of total sector credit extended during the said period on a net basis. 

Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakse
CEO/GM Ranjith Kodituwakku

The bank’s consolidated assets reached Rs. 2,154.1 billion up 5.1% from Rs. 2,049.8 billion at end 2019 whilst its total deposits grew 5.8% to reach Rs. 1,680.6 billion from Rs. 1,588.9 billion at end 2019. 

From a COVID-19 moratorium perspective, the Group extended relief to close to 460,000 retail customers – the largest so extended by any financial services group – and over 21,000 business owners. Beneficiaries of relief included, amongst many other, approximately 10,500 three-wheel owners and close to 7,500 passenger transport service providers. 

In addition, the bank also introduced multiple loan schemes at highly concessionary rates of interest with a view of supporting its customers with diverse socio-economic and demographic profiles and small and medium scale enterprises of varying nature, scale and scope whilst also simultaneously encouraging women entrepreneurship  

Notwithstanding these extraordinary times, the bank – even during the height of lockdown – ensured, amongst other things, that over 70% of its branches were kept open for essential service banking with all safety precautions taken for the benefit of its customers and employees, all its self-banking units and its digital platform were functioning on a 24/7 basis with over 99.0% uptime, and its mobile ATMs were dispatched to support its customers in over 1,000 remote locations spread throughout the country and, with a view of enabling better access under the circumstances, introduced the novel concept of palmtop banking.

In addition, the bank facilitated salary and pension payments, including Samurdhi payments, totalling over Rs. 130 billion via its islandwide branch network and undertook the task of facilitating repayments for the benefit of depositors of troubled finance companies for and on behalf of the Central Bank with disbursements to date amounting to over Rs. 18 billion.

Commenting on the results, People’s Bank Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakse stated: “We are very pleased with our success during this period – one not measured by the typical top line or bottom line numbers but by a delivery and national value added during a time of unprecedented crises. COVID-19 is considered the largest economic stress event since the great depression and one which has forced border closures and movement control in a manner previously unseen in our lifetime. With the magnitude of economic shocks both locally and globally yet to be fully assessed, it has required us all rise up to a national cause with a shared responsibility.

“From a PB standpoint, our delivery during this time self attests to our overarching commitment to support the Government in their numerous initiatives to not only preserve the economy from further consequence but to also play our role in its revival. With the economy showing positive signs of rejuvenation, and not complacent with any of our successes, we look forward to the future with a great degree of hope and optimism.”

Chief Executive Officer/General Manager Ranjith Kodituwakku stated: “No sooner it was announced in late March 2020, People’s Bank was amongst the first to roll out the Central Bank relief program for the benefit of its customers. There were several measures taken including, amongst many other, simplifying the applications process. The bank diligently followed the guidelines and directions issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in offering relief to its customers. The consolidated cost of such interest concessions so extended exceeds Rs. 8.5 billion, which ultimately speaks volumes for the Group’s contribution to the national cause and the extent given back to its customers.

“All of the above notwithstanding, an ability to yet report positive bottom line numbers during such extraordinary times and despite such extraordinary measures does speak volumes of the Group’s underlying strength and stability. Towards late July 2020 the bank also issued the industry’s largest Basel III compliant debenture issuance. Needless to say, that’s the People’s Bank brand strength.”