Dispelling the politically motivated negative comments being perpetuated in the market that state banks are facing difficulties in conducting their international and Trade related banking activities, People’s Bank wishes to clarify that not a single Letter of Credit facility issued by the bank has been refused by any international bank to date.
People’s Bank being the country’s largest bank in terms of customer base and size of the branch network, plays a pivotal role in facilitating country’s import/export activities via issuing Letters of Credits and Guarantees to a large number of private and state-owned institutions. While certain parties are seeking to undermine the role of state banks by stating that the recent downgrade in the country’s credit rating by three international rating agencies has hampered state bank’s ability to facilitate international trade activities, the factual situation is that not a single Letter of Credit or Guarantee issued by People’s Bank has been rejected by any international party.
In fact, People’s Bank remains the preferred bank for international trade and foreign currency funding facilities in Sri Lanka by the international banking community, a fact that was proven once again by the recent ADB award it received for the Trade Deal of the Year which they jointly received with Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka.
People’s Bank which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2021 has always taken pride in playing a leading national role in the development of the country and always stepping in to play a critical role in any difficulty the country faced. The role it played during the recent COVID 19 pandemics is no different as it kept more than 70% of its branches open to serve the customers while providing the affected individuals and businesses with over Rs.300Bn worth of financial relief.
People’s Bank’s financial stability is underscored the fact that it has been ranked among the Top 1000 banks in the world for 2018, 2019 and 2020 by the Banker magazine. The bank also possesses an impressive Rs.2.3 trillion asset base with over Rs.1.8 Trillion customer deposits which is indicative of the trust and confidence it enjoys within the country. The bank is also compliant with internationally accepted a BASEL III standards and all other applicable banking standards of the country and boasts of one of the lowest NPL ratios in the industry which are illustrate the prudent and professional manner in which it is being managed.
Attesting to its robust financial power, the bank granted more than Rs.400Bn worth of loans in this year alone and paid over Rs.11.3Bn in taxes and dividends. Further, People’s Bank in 2020 raised Rs.20Bn in a Debenture issue which was the largest ever BASEL III compliant debenture issue in the Sri Lankan banking industry which was oversubscribed on the opening day itself.
In light of the above, the Bank categorically denies having faced any difficulty in conducting its international trade related banking activities and advises the customers, businesses and all other stakeholders that the bank remains strongly positioned to facilitate any business activity that contributes to the country’s economic development.