Fitch re-affirms People’s Bank at ‘AA+(lka)’/ Outlook Stable’

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By 2017-02-15

Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited recently re-affirmed the National Long-Term Rating on People's Bank at 'AA+(lka) with a Stable Outlook – continuing to put the institution amongst the two highest rated locally incorporated commercial banks in the country on a national scale. In its rating announcement the agency stated, "The National Long-Term Rating of People's Bank reflects Fitch's expectation of extraordinary support from the sovereign......(B+/Negative) albeit constrained by its limited ability. Fitch expects support for People's Bank to stem from its high systemic importance, quasi-sovereign status, role as key lenders to the government and full State-ownership."

Commenting on the affirmation, the People's Bank Chairman Hemasiri Fernando stated, "The evolution of the bank's rating provides a simple but powerful testimony to an irrefutable fact. Having been rated 'A- (lka)' during 2008, to receive an industry unprecedented systematic five notch upgrade to reach 'AA+ (lka)' by the end of 2012, and to consistently maintain this credit quality thereafter, notwithstanding the many challenges from a macro-economic stand-point, itself attests to the consistent and sustained positive progress made by the institution over the years. As for 2016, it will be a year etched in our history books for many reasons. Amongst them all, it will be best remembered as the year that witnessed not a single trillion rupee feat but two. Following its first trillion rupee landmark achievement in terms of consolidated group assets in 2013, during the year 2016, the bank saw not only its customer deposits reach this historic milestone but also its group customer advances. This provides ample evidence to our standing within the industry - supported by our unmatched network of branches spread across all major cities and suburbs in the country. It must be also said, amongst our many successes, we are most proud to be the industry's largest employer. The passion and commitment of our employees to serve the people of the nation and their businesses is what drives us diligently forward. We thank you all. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I take the opportunity to extend our sincerest appreciation to all our valued stakeholders for their trust and confidence in our efforts."

Commenting on the bank's performance, People's Bank Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager Vasantha Kumar stated, "Our delivery amidst challenging circumstances remains best described in two simple but primary indicators. First, an industry benchmark return on equity of over 20% delivered consistently since 2014 and second, a diligently reduced gross non performing loan ratio of less than 2.0% - which is not only a ten year low for us but also amongst the lowest in the industry. Not complacent with our successes, conscious of the challenges that may lie ahead, our focus is clear and it is to make every effort necessary and within our reasonable control to help all our customers and their businesses continuously prosper."

About Us
Since its inception 55 years ago, People's Bank has opened its doors to customers across the country, from all walks of life, providing them with banking services that meet their unique needs and uplift their lives. People's Bank currently serves over 16 million customer accounts through 737 branches and its connected network of over 3,000 ATMs is linked to the Lanka Pay gateway. The bank also continues to play an important role in encouraging various industries including agriculture, real estate, commercial development, small and medium enterprises and exports, and this in turn has helped support communities across the country. People's Bank has always been a driver of financial inclusivity and was also the first bank in the country to commence bilingual operations in Sinhala and Tamil, and thereafter also introduced Sri Lanka's first trilingual cheque book.

The bank was awarded the coveted 'Best Service Brand of the Year' award last year by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing. People's Bank has been winning prestigious awards such as the SLIM-Nielsen People's Award for the Service Brand of the Year and People's Award for the Best Banking and Finance Service Brand of the Year for ten consecutive years. The bank was also the recipient of the 'Best Banking Group' and 'Most Sustainable Bank' awards at the prestigious World Finance Banking Awards in 2015. The reputed international financial and business magazine, 'The European', recently honoured People's Bank with the title 'Bank of the Year - Sri Lanka' for the second time, which is a testament to the strides People's Bank is making in becoming the foremost bank in Sri Lanka.

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