HNB opens its 250th customer centre amidst strong growth, new techno
The Hatton National Bank (HNB) will open its 250th customer centre in
the town of Walasmulla in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.
This is the 25th customer centre that HNB will open in the South,
demonstrating it’s commitment to the people in the South and also
aligning itself with the development efforts taking place in these parts
of Sri Lanka, says Jonathan Alles, HNB’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer
“Walasmulla presents us with yet another opportunity to serve the
agricultural and trading communities, leveraging HNB’s strong
micro-finance and SME Banking capabilities, he said in an interview to
mark the opening of the 250th customer centre of HNB, awarded Bank of
the year in Sri Lanka by the prestigious Banker magazine UK.
The following are excerpts of the interview with Alles:
Q: Over the years, HNB has expanded its branch network
significantly. Can you explain?
A: Over the past two to three years, HNB has cashed in on the
peace dividend and ventured out to open more than 60 customer centres
mainly outside the Western Province. With the new found peace, HNB has
also played a pivotal role in supporting the development plans of Sri
The culmination of the long-drawn domestic conflict offered
tremendous opportunities for all banks to spread themselves by opening
new customer centres in all parts of Sri Lanka and to promote inclusive
banking. In particular, HNB opened around 20 customer centres in the
North and East during this period to support the development in this
region and to assist the people who had been deprived of basic banking
needs for a long period of time. The total number of customer centres in
the North & East regions as at March 31, 2013 is 44.
Q: What’s next?
A: With the opening of the 250th customer centre, HNB now has
a well-spread, brick and mortar network. This means that HNB is present
in all key towns and communities to assist the people of Sri Lanka with
its wide range of products and services.
We are now going through a period of consolidation and making all
these new branches profitable. To complement our brick and mortar
network, HNB is driving its e-banking strategy to reach more places and
people and to provide them with convenient banking.
The revamped internet banking solution went live in February 2013,
while HNB’s comprehensive Mobile Banking capability was launched at a
glamorous event on March 14, 2013 at the 22nd floor Auditorium of HNB
The revamped E-delivery channels along with the new ATM Switch slated
for implementation shortly will improve HNB’s service delivery
capability very significantly and, in turn, will provide our valuable
clientele flexible convenient, 24x7 state of the art banking, with the
choice to do their banking anywhere, anytime using multiple delivery
Also, HNB’s product development capabilities will be greatly
enhanced, particularly in the areas of gift cards, travel cards, prepaid
virtual cards, remittance products and other wallet based services
enabling further collaboration with utility companies, insurance
companies, schools, clubs, associations etc. With new payees being added
to the HNB network, our clients will have greater flexibility in making
their payments through our electronic channels using HNB’s payment
Q: HNB has invested substantially on new technology. What are
A: A significant investment has been made in the field of
information technology in addition to internet, mobile banking and the
new ATM switch. HNB also rolled out a new credit system for better
credit evaluation, a more streamlined approval process providing better
monitoring and control capability of the credit portfolio. In addition,
a state-of-the-art Asset and Liability fund transfer pricing system was
implemented towards the latter part of 2012 providing critical
management information to assist top management and the Assets and
Liability Committee in strategic decision making..
To support the branch network, a new Anti Money Laundering(AML)
system is being tested at present along with a new leasing system slated
for implementation shortly. These two systems will enhance profitability
and efficiency in the network.