LEADING BRANDS PROFILE
Q: What is the story behind the bank that takes pride in inculcating the habit of saving among the people?
A: The history of National Savings Bank, popularly known as NSB, can be traced back to the Ceylon Savings Bank established in 1832. In 1885, it evolved into being the Ceylon Post Office Bank, which facilitated deposits and withdrawals through the network of national post offices.
In 1938, the Postal Services Department took the initiative to open a savings certificate section to further promote savings in the country. In addition, the Ceylon War Movement – set up in 1942 and renamed the National Savings Movement in the postwar period – helped raise money for war loans and promoted savings certificates.
The authorities recognised the need to create a stronger financial institution and established National Savings Bank as a wholly state owned institution by NSB Act No. 30 of 1971, amalgamating the Ceylon Savings Bank, Post Office Savings Bank, National Savings Movement and Savings Certificate Section of the Post Master General’s Department.
National Savings Bank, the brainchild of then Minister of Finance Dr. N. M. Perera, commenced operations on 16 March 1972 – and thus began the legacy of NSB, spanning multiple generations.
Q: From humble beginnings to a firmly rooted financial giant, where does the bank stand today?
A: Our bank has catered to the need to provide financial instruments such as savings and credit, to the underbanked population in rural and remote areas. This has enabled low income rural segments to come out of financial exclusion and participate in the national economy.
Therefore, NSB feels privileged for its five decades of financial inclusion and economic empowerment of the people of the country.
Our reach has been extended to 261 branches along with 292 ATMs and 92 CRMs, 4,064 post offices and sub-post offices, enabling all our customers living across the island to obtain the bank’s services comprehensively.
The bank’s channels of service distribution have expanded to internet banking and NSB Reach mobile banking, bringing banking to the doorsteps of our customers. We have introduced the NSBPay App, a mobile payment system, enabling customers to accomplish their daily banking needs safely and efficiently while enjoying uninterrupted service at all times.
Q: In your opinion, how does trust and integrity add value to a bank’s reputation?
A: Inculcating the habit of saving among the people was the task that NSB was entrusted with at its formation.
Many Sri Lankans who read the ABCs of savings with NSB continue to remain loyal customers. The bank’s large customer base is a testament to NSB’s success in fulfilling its founding objective.
With the trust and integrity placed upon it, in its 50th year of operations, NSB is recognised as a leading savings bank – and the fourth largest bank in the island in terms of assets and its deposit base of Rs. 1.5 trillion and 1.4 trillion rupees respectively.
Q: In your assessment, what is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent macroeconomic developments on the corporate environment?
A: Navigating a truly challenging time period triggered by COVID-19 and other economic crises, NSB took all possible action to provide uninterrupted and continuous service to its customers while ensuring our fullest support to the government to navigate the troubled waters.
Despite the lasting effects of the crises, which all sectors had to grapple with, NSB remained true to its mission and values, improving living standards of the urban and rural masses alike, by providing accessible and affordable credit facilities – especially to women entrepreneurs, which in turn contributes to strengthening the national economy. This has been our trademark over the decades.
Showing strength and continuous financial resilience amid challenges last year, the bank recorded the highest ever mobilisation of deposits amounting to Rs. 203 billion at the end of 2021, followed by a record-breaking highest ever profit after tax in the bank’s history in 2021 amounting to 22 billion rupees.
NSB has been highly recognised at various awards ceremonies in appreciation of the outstanding contribution and services rendered to the economic and banking sectors of the island over the past five decades, which we’re immensely proud of.