HNB recognized as Best SME Bank at Asiamoney Awards 2023

Reaffirming its leading role in promoting grassroots financial inclusion and entrepreneurship, 
HNB PLC was once again declared the Best SME Bank in Sri Lanka at
the Asiamoney Awards 2023. 
Organised to showcase excellence among leading banks in the Asia Pacific region, this
year’s awarding process followed stringent evaluations of financial performance and
strategic business models in addition to weighing in feedback from customers and
“SMEs are essential to the Sri Lankan economy, generating 52% of GDP, and creating
livelihoods for more than 45% of Sri Lanka’s entire workforce. At every step of its
development, HNB has actively worked to and empowering grassroots enterprises, and we
have supported many to grow into fully fledged corporates of national and even global
“In the face of persistent economic volatility, our work in developing and strengthening the
SME sector takes on even greater importance. We are grateful to Asiamoneyfor recognizing
our efforts, and most importantly, to all of our teams on the ground who continue to take on
the challenge of supporting SMEs to navigate this challenging time, and plant the seeds for
economic revival,” HNB DGM – Retail Banking Group, Sanjay Wijemanne said. 

Rajive Dissanayake – HNB DGM – SME and Micro Finance, HNB

Sanjay Wijemanne – DGM – Retail Banking Group, HNB

Rajive Dissanayake – DGM – SME and Micro Finance, HNB
The roots of its commitment to partnering grassroot enterprises goes back all the way to the
bank’s inception in Sri Lanka’s hill country in 1888. According to HNB Deputy General
Manager – SME and Micro Finance, Rajive Dissanayake, the bank’s mission to serve as a
partner in progress to these grassroots enterprises is now evolving.  
“The advances we are making in digital banking, combined with the unmatched expertise
and deep personal relationships that we have cultivated with SMEs over generations has the
potential to create an entirely new paradigm in SME development. Throughout the COVID
pandemic, our first priority was to channel as much support into getting past daily operating
“During the COVID pandemic, this included facilitation of access to debt moratoriums and
concessionary working capital loans, with emphasis on SMEs with proven capability to
perform. Additionally, HNB also forged partnerships with a variety of stakeholders to provide
SMEs with access to e-commerce and digital payment solutions, export facilitation, training
and skills development, as well as access to funding via international credit facilities.”
“HNB continued to partner with donor agencies and DFIs in attracting low cost funding to
support SMEs and this included a collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the SMELoC Emergency Response Scheme. Through this, the bank supported over 650
MSME customers with working capital and Capex facilities.”
“Increasingly we have shifted our focus towards driving systemic solutions to customers in
distress, back on the road to recovery. The next paradigm in financial inclusion will be in
connecting SMEs to these new digital capabilities and providing them the skills and support
to build resilience and competitively differentiate themselves in order to capture new markets
locally and globally. Our top priority will be in supporting this new generation of agile, tech-
empowered SMEs,” Dissanayake explained. 
Furthering grassroots digitalisation in Sri Lanka, the Bank offers a wide range of holistic
solutions including user-friendly digital banking services and ERP solutions. HNB also
facilitated e-commerce integration through the AppiGo platform with affordable online
payment gateways. 
Given the vital importance of maximising Sri Lanka’s export performance, HNB partnered
with Cord – an online marketing platform that provides exporters support in key
areas such as finance, logistics, packaging and market access – providing local SMEs with a
portal to pursue global business opportunities. In particular, the platform streamlines process
and costs involved in linking and negotiating trade with foreign buyers, benefitting SMEs in
particular who face greater challenges in such activities.
HNB also signed on as the exclusive banking partner to the National Chamber of Exporters
(NCE) for 2022-23. Through this partnership, HNB pledged to support the NCE in their
diverse service offerings, including representation of Exporters in discussions and meetings
held with relevant Government bodies. Through this, the bank hopes to eventually attract
Foreign Direct Investments related to Export oriented manufacturers and service providers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *