HNB is the oldest private sector bank in Sri Lanka, once the most profitable bank under Rienzi Wijetileke, a leader who revolutionised the banking sector.
Last year profits of the bank were down by over 15 per cent and then again in the latest 1st quarter, profits are down 12 percent.
A former top official was believed to be responsible for ensuring the bank paid the lowest tax rate in the country. This official was very good at creative accounting. Is the HNB now paying for those sins?
The main issue the HNB has is that the board has become a parking place for retired central bankers, rich kids of shareholders who do not know what banking, and friends of the government.
Banks are run on depositors and lenders money. Shareholders only bring 10 per cent of the capital employed. The banking sector should be allowed to run professionally without political interference. The EPF and ETF have already been ransacked. Do we want the private sector banks to go the same way? What is going on? We need to clean up if we want to attract good investors to our country.