The Formation & History of HNB
The roots of Hatton National Bank can be traced back to 1888. A Bank called Hatton Bank commenced business in 1888 to cater to the investors in large scale plantations, as well as to the small savers amongst the plantation workers. Whilst the big banks operated from the City, this little bank became popular in the hills far away from Colombo, working through mobile banks and undertaking special fee levying services such as delivery of labour pay. It maintained a close rapport with the architects of the economic activity in that era.
The interests of the original investors, Mr R D Banks and Mr A T Atkin were acquired by Brown & Company Ltd. in 1948. This was the year that Sri Lanka negotiated its freedom from Britain. With the acquisition, the Bank saw a change in its structure with a higher Sri Lankan participation.
The small Hatton Bank however continued in an unique way upto 1970 assisting in the growth of the Plantation Economy, which was the main stay of the post-independent Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
The Birth of HNB
The year 1970 was a major landmark for the Hatton Bank. That year, we witnessed the birth of a well structured, commercially viable national bank to harness the potential emerging from a new economic order which emphasized on self sustainability.
On 5th March 1970, HNB was born by the amalgamation of Hatton Bank with the Kandy & Nuwara Eliya branches of the then National & Grindlays Bank Ltd. Simultaneously five branches were opened to intensify it's commercial banking activities.
The first Board of Directors of HNB comprised of Mr. Edmund J Cooray (Chairman), Mr. C B Ferguson, Mr. S. Shearer and Mr. W K Gash. Mr. M Dharmaraja was appointed as the General Manager.
Within 18 months of incorporation, the new Bank announced a share issue which provided 35% to the public whilst Brown & Company and National & Grindlays Bank retained 37% and 28% respectively.
The initial staff strength of the Bank was around 51. The Bank established a wide network of correspondent banks and agency arrangements with overseas banks, capitalizing on the strength of the HNB-Grindlays relationship.
On 8th December 1983, HNB's new Head Office at No. 10, R A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3 was ceremonially opened by the then Minister of Finance & Planning, Mr Ronnie de Mel.
The Bank believed in gradual but steady growth from the inception. In April 1974 the Bank made a significant move in acquiring a part interest in the very prestigious Mercantile Bank Ltd. The present City Office and Pettah branches were thus annexed to the branch net work.
In 1989 when Emirates Bank International, a reputed Bank with its Head Office in Dubai, decided to sell their interests in Sri Lanka, HNB having realized the opportunities available for development of international activities, successfully negotiated for the transfer of the business conducted by their Colombo branch. This acquisition added an additional FCBU unit to the Bank.
The Bank acquired the business of the Banque Indosuez, Colombo branch in 1996, which continues to make a substantial contribution to the profitability of the Bank. This acquisition enabled the Bank to bring in the third FCBU license within its wing.Overseas Operations
The Bank has set up overseas extension offices in Chennai in India and Karachi in Pakistan. It has also appointed a credit card service representative in Republic of Maldives. The Bank also has plans to upgrade the present extension office at Chennai to a branch office.
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In 1888, Hatton Bank commenced business in Sri Lanka's hill country station of Hatton, to serve the flourishing tea industry that produced the country's most famous export.
In 1948, with the independence of Ceylon, Brown & Company Ltd., a leader in the engineering business, bought over the interests of the original investors and fittingly restructured the bank with greater Sri Lankan participation. Thus began the voyage of what was to become a truly national bank that would grow to be recognized as Sri Lanka's Flagship among commercial banks.
No: 479, T.B. Jayah Mawatha (Darley Road),
Cable Address : HATNABANK
Telephone Nos. 2664664, 2662772, 4764764
Fax Nos. 2662814, 2662832
International – 2446523
Telex Nos. 21259 Hatnbk Ce, 2166 Haynfx Ce
Swift : Bic Code – HBLILKLX
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Institutional Investors, Stock Brokers and Security Analysts requiring financial information should contact the Chief Financial Officer at
“HNB Towers”, (Level 16),
No: 479, T.B. Jayah Mawatha,
Colombo 10, SRI LANKA.
Telephone : 2662705, 2664705
Fax : 2662815
E-mail : email@example.com
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