As a pioneer in inward remittance handling, catering to the needs of Sri Lankans working overseas, Hatton National Bank (HNB) has established remittance relationships covering the entire Gulf region, Europe, Australia, the Far East and the USA.
With a heritage of 120 plus years and backed by a solid 241 customer centre network, HNB, as a key player in the inward remittance sphere, offers Sri Lankans employed overseas the opportunity of remitting their money through safe, reliable and cost effective channels.
“Apart from remittance partnerships with reputed banks around the globe, HNB is also the clearing providers for customers of Barclay’s Bank in the United Kingdom for their rupee payments in Sri Lanka,” said Reshanka H. Abayasekara, AGM - Correspondent Banking and International Operations, HNB.
In addition, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, one of Australia’s leading providers of financial services has also appointed HNB as its clearing provider for Australian dollar payments and rupee payments, he said. “This is an exclusive privilege as all payments in the designated currency in Sri Lanka have to go through HNB.”
He said that HNB is also the Super-Agent in Sri Lanka to receive payments through MoneyGram for worldwide destinations. Only a Super-Agent has the legal authority to appoint Sub Agents to transact remittance business.
“With the convenience of our remitting customers in mind, we have launched HNB CashXpress -- our own system for easy, safe, fast and cost effective delivery of remittances to family members and friends in Sri Lanka. This mechanism is used by our remittance partners in the Gulf, Australia, the UK and Europe,” Abayasekara explained.
HNB also has overseas presence in two Remittance Houses in the UAE and Oman. Managed by HNB staff, they cater not only to Sri Lanka, but also to South Asia and South East Asia. In the UAE, the Remittance House managed by HNB is called Delma Exchange, which has five remittance centres in Abhu Dhabi, Hamdan Street, Musaffah, Al Quoz and Karama, while Majan Exchange LLC, in Oman has remittance centres in Ruwi and Ghala.
This is another unique initiative taken by HNB to support Sri Lankan nationals employed overseas, especially in the Middle East, the AGM emphasized. “We have our own staff performing duties as marketing representatives in Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Italy.”
In another salutary achievement, HNB recently introduced ‘Adhishtana’, a first-of-its-kind savings account especially designed for Sri Lankan migrant workers in the Middle East.
With a surge in remittances from migrant workers envisaged in the coming years, ‘Adhishtana’ will benefit both the receivers and senders of remittances to Sri Lanka, Abayasekara noted.
Senders or receivers of remittances from any Middle East country can open an ‘Adhishtana’ account, with an initial minimum deposit of Rs.1,000 in comparison to normal savings, thus encouraging more savings among the segment. Keeping in line with the aspirations of a majority who seeks foreign employment to fulfill the dream of a home of their own, the ‘Adhishtana’ account paves the way for special housing loans from Rs.50,000/- to Rs.1,000,000/- and loans ranging from Rs.25,000/- to Rs.1,000,000/- to start small business enterprises together with business guidance and advice provided by the bank, said Kalum Wijesooriya, Chief Manager, Remittances, HNB.
He said that all ‘Adhishtana’ account holders will be offered a life insurance cover of Rs.100,000/where the bank will bear 50% of the insurance premium. In addition, all ‘Adhishtana’ accounts with a balance of Rs.10,000/- or above will be eligible for ‘HNB Pathum Vimana’, Sri Lanka’s biggest prize draw.