Banking Trends

May 09, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Union Bank, which became a retail investor favourite after its recent listing, intends to go into new lines of business and add more branches as part of an expansion plan. “The bank expects this unique facility will enable to expand its network to the grass-root levels efficiently and effectively.” Chief executive Anil Amarasuriya said the bank aims to increase its branch network by threefold by the end of 2013.

“We have planned an ambitious yet achievable target of opening at least 45 new branches in the next three years,” he told shareholders in the bank’s annual report.

The first quarter of 2011 saw Union Bank open branches in the districts of Gampaha, Batticaloa, Galle and Trincomalee adding to its 21 branches.

Amarasuriya said the bank now has a “strategic presence” in towns that are considered trading hubs.

He said a significant portion of the bank’s income is now earned through non-interest channels, as having a diversified income stream was important during a period of low interest spreads.

“The next year will see us aggressively position ourselves in the sphere of investment banking, working on select mergers and acquisitions with the int