On the 1stJuly 2021, People’s Bank celebrated its 60th anniversary on 1st of July 2021 marking a period during which it revolutionized the Sri Lankan banking industry by taking innovative banking to touch the lives of even the most grass root level customers who had had been largely overlooked by the industry.
During the past 60 years, the bank has always strived to understand its customers’ needs and was able to use new technology and innovative products to meet those needs. It is this approach that has won them Sri Lanka’s largest customer base of over 14 million.
People’s Bank was established under Act No. 29 of1961 with the aim of uplifting the corporate business and rural banking systems. This Act was submitted to Parliament by then Minister of Trade, Food, Co-operatives and Shipping,T. B. Illangaratne, during the regime of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Vincent Subasinghe was the first Chairman of People’s Bank; he was a pioneer in providing banking services to the corporate sector.
In an era when banking services were limited to English speaking upper end of the society, It was the establishment of People’s Bank that changed that phenomenon, by starting to work in Sinhala and Tamil.
Right from the inception, the bank started working towards its mission to serve the masses. Accordingly, People’s Bank has introduced many firsts to the country such as agriculture loans, Pawning, SME loans, Women’s Savings Accounts and Children’s Savings Accounts to name few. Most of these product concepts were so widely embraced by the society, that almost all the local commercial banks are now offering them under different brand names.
Currently, People’s Bank is one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial institutions, boasting over Rs.2.3 trillion in assets. Its network of 741 branches/service centres is the country’s largest. The bank also possesses a network of over 250 Self Banking Units operating 24/7 all 365 days of the year. This enormous network has enables the people to get their banking done safely, securely and with ease of accessibility.
Speaking at a 60th anniversary celebratory event, the Chairman of the People’s Bank Mr. Sujeewa Rajapakse stated “Marking a turning point in the Sri Lanka banking sector, People’s Bank was established on 1st July 1961. Today, we celebrate the 60th anniversary with much pride. As a reputed state bank, People’s Bank not only provides state-of-the-art financial facilities but also renders their services to uplift the social economy. As a state bank, People’s Bank’s objectives transcend beyond mere profits and the main focus has always been the country’s development. Hence many a time we have provided financial facilities for exports, education, health, expressways and tourism infrastructure.
People’s Bank has always come forward to shoulder the societal responsibilities and even the current COVID-19 pandemic is no different. We are very much a part of this nation and this is why the country in turn considers us as the pride of the nation”.
Ranjith Kodituwakku – Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, People’s Bank also commented “From the inception, People’s Bank was open to the common man instead of just one strata of the society. Although the bank was catering the mass market, that did not prevent it from being innovative and technology oriented. This is why People’s Bank expanded rapidly in terms of network, financial performance, product portfolio and brand value. Furthermore, People’s Bank has greatly supported the country’s socio-economic development. People’s Bank continues to introduce new banking technology to the financial sector and to its customers in order to establisher stronger relationships with them. We look to pioneer modern banking solutions in the future as well”.