Sampath Bank was recently recognized as Sri Lanka’s best bank for social responsibility by Asiamoney and Market Leader CSR fromEuromoney magazines.
Both lauded Sampath Bank’s innovative approach and the impact of its successful social outreach programs, and wrote approvingly of how the Bank adapted to difficult circumstances.
The result of a rigorous assessment process, these rankings are part of Euromoney magazine’s awards programs that recognize financial institutions for their accomplishments and capabilities within a 12-month period against the backdrop of global events.In the confined world of international banking and finance, Euromoney and Asiamoney awards are the coin of the realm.
Both magazines noted in separate statements that as working capital dwindled during the coronavirus pandemic, Sampath supersised its ‘diriya’ loan scheme for small and medium-sised enterprises, prioritizing green lending.
It also scaled up sustainable lending to help Sri Lanka reach one of its environmental objectives: to ensure that by 2030, 70% of the country’s energy will come from renewable sources.
Sampath Bank helped support Sri Lanka’s import/export industry, prioritizing prudent management of its foreign currency position.
Facing unprecedented, the Bank responded with out-of-the-box thinking and novel solutions. Heeding the Central Bank’s directive to reschedule existing non-performing loans of pandemic-affected businesses, Sampath Bank negotiated mutually acceptable repayment plans. It also distributed with fees for returned cheques, stopped cheques and late payments.
Sampath Bank also expanded its ‘Waweta Jeewayak’ tank restoration initiative and its ‘Sampath Saviya’ entrepreneurship development program, and donated medical equipment to help state hospitals cope with COVID outbreaks. Both Euromoney and Asiamoney also commended Sampath Bank for strengthening its core business, noting that the Bank balanced growth, risks and costs: Net interest income rose 23.2% from the previous year and after-tax profit increased 55.2%.
The magazines credited much of Sampath Bank’s outstanding performance to its active monitoring of impairment risks and its efforts to absorb losses during a perfect storm of health, socioeconomic and political crises. “It is an impressive achievement,” they concluded.
Sampath Bank PLC Managing Director, Nanda Fernando said, “This award was given to us for our resilience in the face of seemingly intractable problems, and for the way we innovated our way through a very tough year. We are not over the problems of 2022, but we face the future with confidence.”