The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services International Awards 2021, one of the world’s most prestigious awards programmes has awarded People’s Bank the ‘Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka’ and ‘Best Digital Bank’ awards in recognition of the giant strides taken by People’s Bank championing banking excellence in Sri Lanka.
The Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards programme is run on a completely neutral basis and unfunded, over a 3-4 month period. It involves a team of highly experienced international researchers assessing over 160 financial institutions internationally.
Commenting on this monumental achievement, Mr. Sujeewa Rajapaksa, Chairman of People’s Bank said “While 2020 was a year like no other due to COVID-19 pandemic, People’ Bank not only was able to wade through them largely unscathed, but also played a key role in executing the government’s financial relief programmes to support COVID-19 affected individuals and businesses by providing moratoria and concessionary loans. Awards such as these further encourage us to continue to do our utmost for the nation as the country’s most widely embraced bank by the people”.
Mr. Ranjith Kodituwakku, Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager of People’s Bank stated “I couldn’t be prouder of this achievement. Being named ‘Best Retail Bank’ and ‘Best Digital Bank’ by the Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services International Awards is an ode to the dedication and commitment of all our staff which made it possible for the bank to overcome unprecedented challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic.
People’s Bank which possesses the country’s largest banking customer base of over 14 million also possesses the country’s largest branch network. Not resting on its laurels, the Bank began an ambitious digital transformation journey in 2015, from which time the bank has launched a host of diverse digital banking solutions to deliver enhanced convenience, speed, and efficiency to customers. Extending these services to the rural areas of the country as well, the bank has gained unparalleled success in turning Sri Lanka into a digital society. Bearing testament to the bank’s ability to take technology to the masses, People’s Bank’s Mobile Banking App remains the most downloaded banking app in the country.
During the COVID 19 pandemic, People’s Bank Mobile Service covered over 1,000 rural townships to enable access to banking and finances to customers even in the most remote areas. The service was further enhanced with Palmtop Banking to allow customers to withdraw and deposit money without the use of an ATM card.
Further, in order to soften the COVID 19 impact on the overall economy, the Bank swiftly implemented a range of relief packages including moratoria mandated by the government and provided relief to over 480,000 individual customers which is the highest number by a bank in Sri Lanka.
People’s Bank also introduced multiple loan schemes to support the economic revival of the country. These schemes were offered to a large cross-section of groups included Doctors, Dentists, Engineers, Accountants, IT Professionals/Software Engineers, Healthcare Professionals, School Teachers, University Staff Members, Students and Artists. To further enhance the customer experience, the bank introduced a Retail Loan Originating System (RLOS) to over 100 branches thus enabling customers to obtain personal loans in 24 hours.
People’s Bank which also pioneered the pawning business in Sri Lanka came up with a range of concessions to help pawning customers during this difficult period. This included reducing interest rates and introducing a facility that allowed partial pawning payments to be made via Self Banking Units anytime of the .
These initiatives are a testament to the bank’s commitment to delivering superior experiences to their customers, by leveraging on its digital banking supremacy.