Sri Lanka's best bank for SMEs 2023: Hatton National Bank
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Sri Lanka's best bank for SMEs 2023: Hatton National Bank

Hatton National Bank

Jonathan Alles, HNB.jpg
Jonathan Alles, HNB

A maxim of Hatton National Bank over the last 135 years has been to balance profits and support Sri Lanka’s economic development.

That was much easier said than done in 2022 because of Sri Lanka’s political and economic crises. The pandemic had already taken its toll on the small and medium-sized enterprises that form the backbone of the economy, even before inflation surged and anti-government protests broke out.

The team led by CEO Jonathan Alles jumped in to support SMEs which faced exchange-rate chaos, chronic fuel shortages, scarcity of tech and building materials, major power disruptions and political turmoil – a situation which culminated in a $3 billion IMF bailout in March 2023.

HNB’s rapid deployment of working capital loans and its flexibility in repayment arrangements helped to keep business failures and bankruptcies to a minimum. Its policy of extended moratoriums prompted peers to follow suit.

HNB also managed to balance its role as a systemically important bank and to grow earnings.

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