Sri Lanka's best bank for premium services 2019: NDB Bank
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Sri Lanka's best bank for premium services 2019: NDB Bank

NDB Bank

NDB Bank, winner of the award for best bank in Sri Lanka, scoops this prize too, in recognition of its years of consistent effort, innovative thinking and fruitful labour. NDB’s premium banking service, Privilege Banking, has taken off in recent years. It opened three new dedicated centres in 2018, serving NDB’s 7,305 high net-worth customers – or anyone who maintains a deposit of more than SLRs5 million ($27,800) with the bank. Total HNW deposits rose 24% in 2018 to SLRs126 billion.

At one level, the numbers underscore the nascent state of premium banking in this south Asian island. But it is a business that will see strong growth in the years ahead thanks to the wealth generated by new corporate and institutional investors.

With HNW customers embracing premium-banking services, NDB Bank is finding new ways to hone and broaden its product offering. Its elite Privilege Select service, available to clients with more than SLRs20 million in deposits, includes wealth management and liability products in local and foreign currencies.

Its premium banking team told Asiamoney in Colombo in early 2019 that plans were already under way to further stratify its HNW customer base and to expand its product offering.

The Colombo-based lender also extends banking services to customers living outside Sri Lanka – mainly foreign nationals and retired professionals, resident in the likes of the US, UK, Australia and Canada.

Perhaps the biggest development in recent years was the launch in 2018 of ‘Shareek’, a range of premium Islamic banking services designed in accordance with Shariah law. NDB Bank is the first, and still the only, Sri Lankan lender to offer customized Shariah-compliant premium banking services onshore.