Sri Lanka's best bank for ESG 2023: Sampath Bank
You might expect an institution whose corporate slogan is “we present your future” to take sustainability seriously. Yet Sampath Bank is that rare firm that under-promises and over-delivers.
Managing director Nanda Fernando has been at the bank since the middle of the 1980s. In those three-plus decades, Sampath has been involved at every turn in supporting national priorities, from financing the growth of agriculture, lending to manufacturing, and deepening the SME sector’s role in job creation.
The last few years of turmoil were no different. As major corporates faced extreme pressure, Sampath scaled back on new lending and switched to safeguarding systemically important sectors of the economy, particularly importers of essential goods and commodities. Sampath quickly set up special credit facilities to incentivize investment in import substitution to support local manufacturing.
The SME sector received particular attention from Fernando’s bankers. Sampath made full use of available credit, including tapping the Asian Development Bank’s credit lines to keep SME liquidity flowing into modern agriculture, information technology, e-commerce, education and renewable energy sectors.
The bank demonstrated its digital proficiency by launching the e-Remittance solution in collaboration with its network of global fintech partners.