Opinion: HNB reiterates importance of developing a national savings culture

HNB Deputy General Manager - Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne

As more Sri Lankans face concerns over their personal financial security, and that of the country, HNB is working to help raise awareness on the opportunities that every Sri Lankan can access, in order to develop their savings habits, and help drive an effective savings culture nationwide.

A useful historic indicator in measuring the depth of Sri Lanka’s savings culture can be found in the level of domestic savings as a percentage of GDP. Historically, Sri Lanka has tended towards a relatively low national savings rate, which currently stands at approximately 26.1%. By way of
comparison, Singapore stands at 44.2% while India stands at 29.3% and Bangladesh at 25.3%.

Given that a higher level of domestic savings links directly to the development of a nation, the closing of this savings gap may be one of the most important contributions that every Sri Lankan can make to the nation, and their own financial independence.

Accordingly, HNB is working to help reverse the national savings rate and foster a culture of financial responsibility from the ground-up, both by incentivizing savings, and raising awareness about the importance of a vibrant savings culture.

“Creating a culture of savings at every level of society, and age, is integral to securing Sri Lanka’s economic revival, which is why we are working to educate the public on responsible financial practices and the importance of investing in your future, all while streamlining and optimizing our
total product portfolio in order to channel maximum value into the hands of our customers,” HNB DGM Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

As a testament to their efforts, HNB offers one of the widest range of savings accounts that Sri Lanka has to offer, as they remain focused on providing the most optimal service possible to their wide range of clients.

For instance, you can plan for your child’s future by opening a Singithi Kirikatiyo account. The Singithi Kirikatiyo account offers a range of benefits, including attractive interest rates and zero account maintenance fees. Additionally, account holders will receive a free gift on account opening, and a special gift on their birthday every year. Once your child has reached five years old, your child’s account will be automatically transferred to a HNB Singithi account, wherein they are eligible
for all the benefits tailored for their age group.

The Singithi savings account is available to children from new-borns to 12 years of age. It offers a range of benefits, including attractive gifts, cash rewards of up to Rs. 10,000 for children who excel in the grade 05 scholarship examination (Diri Daru - Scholarship Scheme), and free
standing order guarantee insurance cover. The Singithi savings account will then be automatically converted to a HNB Teen Account on the
child's 12th birthday, providing a smooth transition for parents and guardians to continue cultivating a savings habit for their children.

With the goal of providing a secure and reliable savings account for children whose parents earn in foreign currency, Singithi Surakum allows immediate family members or guardians to make deposits
on behalf of the child. The account can be opened with an inward remittance or fund transfer from a Personal Foreign Currency account, and aims to encourage parents and guardians to save in the aforementioned
currency, which can be beneficial in the long run. As the Sri Lankan economy becomes more integrated with the global economy, this savings account can serve as an ideal way to ensure that children have a secure financial future.

"We understand the importance of financial literacy and the role it plays in shaping a child's future," Wijemanne continued. "The Singithi and Kirikatiyo accounts are designed to make savings fun and
engaging for children while also providing a secure and reliable platform for parents to save for their child's future, also facilitating a frictionless transition to our accounts designed for young adult customers."

HNB’s minor savings account comes with a range of exciting benefits, including cash rewards for academic excellence in GCE O/L, London O/L, GCE A/L, and London A/L exams, where the top 100 best-performing HNB Teen account holders in the GCE O/L and London O/L exams will receive a
cash prize of Rs. 25,000, while the top 50 best-performing account holders in the GCE A/L and London A/L exams will receive a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 as part of the HNB Diri Daru Scholarship Scheme.

Meanwhile, the HNB TEEN+ Account, offers next-generation savings accounts designed specifically for teenagers between 12 and 18 years. The account comes with a range of exciting features, including a high-interest savings rates, a branded HNB TEEN+ Tap & Go Debit Card, and free digital
banking facilities. HNB TEEN+ also offers personalization of debit cards, special seasonal discounts and offers on debit card transactions, SMS alerts for transactions, and an e-statement facility.

“The HNB Teen and Teen+ Accounts are part of HNB's ongoing commitment to supporting thenext generation of leaders in Sri Lanka. The bank has partnered with several schools and universities to provide financial literacy workshops, mentorship programs, and career guidance,” Wijemanne elaborated.

Upon reaching adulthood, customers will be transferred to a HNB Youth account. Tailored for customers between the ages of 18-30, the HNB Youth Savings Account offers higher interest rates, free internet and mobile banking through the HNB Digital Banking App, an HNB Credit Card with
no joining fee and first-year annual fee waived off, and special benefits including educational, home, vehicle, and entrepreneurial loans at lower interest rates.

The HNB Youth Salary Smart Account also offers 3 times the salary as an overdraft facility or personal loan, while HNB Credit Cardholders
can enjoy up to 12 months of 0% instalment payments at selected educational institutes.

For those focused on more immediate returns, the bank offers the HNB Savings+ Account, which is designed to help customers achieve their short-term savings goals while benefiting from the highest interest rates.

These rates, coupled with a range of unparalleled benefits, make this account the perfect choice for anyone looking to take their savings to the next level. HNB Savings+ offers a free shopping debit card, unlimited withdrawals, and cash-backed facilities of up to 90% of the deposit, as well as free internet banking and mobile banking facilities.

In recognition of the paramount importance that savings play from adulthood into old age, the bank also offers the HNB Senior Citizen’s Scheme, packed with special benefits and privileges tailored for
senior citizens.

Benefits for the above include a premium interest rate on savings and fixed deposits, priority service, HNB International Debit Cards, and a 25% discount on annual credit card fees. Additionally, there are no service charges on current accounts, and depending on the minimum balance maintained in the Senior Savings Account, may be eligible to receive gift vouchers worth up to Rs. 10,000.

For those who require hospitalization cover, the Senior Citizens Health Plus scheme provides peace of mind, leveraging a scheme which reimburses surgical and hospitalization expenses up to Rs. 70,000 for 7 days per year, against actual bills.

HNB also offers a range of other savings accounts for customers, each tailored to specific needs. For HNB’s customers who are overseas or planning to migrate, the Adhishtana Package for Migrants offers a range of financial products and services tailored to the specific requirements of Sri Lankan migrant workers, including remittance services, savings and investment options, and affordable loan facilities for their families in Sri Lanka.

Another Savings option is the HNB Salary Smart account, a one-of-a-kind banking product that empowers customers to get 3 times their salary as a loan directly from the bank. The HNB Salary Smart account is a comprehensive solution that offers a range of benefits, and HNB Salary Smart customers are also eligible for special interest rates for leasing, personal and home loans, loan buyback options at special rates, and a 50% net salary advance with no guarantors required.

With 256 customer centres, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative private banks. Consolidating its legacy in sustainability, good governance and corporate excellence, HNB was crowned the Best Corporate Citizen for 2022 at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Awards.

The bank further secured four additional accolades, including being among the Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens and taking home the Governance category and Sustainability Champion for the Finance sector titles.

Similarly, HNB was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK- based Banker Magazine for the sixth consecutive year in 2022, in addition to being crowned the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 12th occasion at the prestigious International Excellence in Retail
Financial Services Awards 2022 hosted by the Asian Banker Magazine.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x