People's Bank was inaugurated on 1st July 1961. The first branch was opened at Duke Street, Colombo. During the year, 8 more branches were opened at Polonnaruwa, Hingurakgoda, Hambantota, Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Matale and Kandy as well as the Foreign Branch in Colombo. The total number of employees stood at 169.
The Head Office was relocated to Ratnam's Building in Union Place, Colombo 2. 17 more branches were opened during the year.
The Bank commenced its Pawning Services.
The Co-operative Rural Banking Scheme was inaugurated.
Some departments of the Bank were relocated to the GCSU building in Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 2. The total number of branches increased to 48, which included new ones at Horana, Kekirawa, Padaviya, Mannar, Embilipitiya, Kahatagasdigiliya, Ragala and Talawakele.
The Bank commenced a new Agriculture Credit Scheme becoming the pioneer lender to the small farm sector.
The "Athamaru" Loan Scheme was introduced to finance economic activities of the informal sector.
Investment Savings Scheme, a credit linked saving scheme was launched to attract regular savers.
1971 - 1981
The Bank's hundredth branch was opened at Marandagahamula.
A Regionalisation Programme commenced to decentralise the administration and provide speedy customer service. A Comprehensive Rural Credit Scheme was launched to provide both production and consumption credit facilities.
The Bank initiated the "ganudenu" practice, identifying itself with the traditions of the Sinhala & Tamil New Year and encouraging customers to transact with the Bank at the auspicious time.
An aggressive branch expansion programme brought our total branch count to 158.
Our two hundredth branch opened at Kollupitiya. The Head Office was relocated to a 15- storeyed building at Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha. The total number of employees at the Bank reached 5,000. The first Fisheries Bank was opened at Koralawella.
1981 - 1990
Our branch network increased to 290 branches. The Extended Minor Savings Scheme was launched.
The three hundredth branch of the Bank opened at Ingiriya. Total number of employees reached 10,000.
The People's Merchant Bank, a subsidiary of the Bank, was established. Our branch at Slave Island was merged with the International Division and the Fort Foreign Branch.
The process of computerisation began at our Central Head Office and selected City branches and a Black Light System was also introduced. Customer turn-around time was thereby significantly reduced.
Our Headquarters Branch became the Bank's first fully automated branch. A Special Loan Scheme for rural electrification was implemented in collaboration with the CEB.
The Bank introduced a new Inland Bill Scheme for lending to the rural sector and for financing agricultural activities: The Bank participated in a loan scheme sponsored by the Ministry of Labour to provide for housing against assignment of EPF balances. The Bank launched a scheme in association with the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau to provide loans for job seekers abroad. The Bank participated in a loan scheme launched by REPIA to provide credit to those affected by civil unrest in 1983. A Janasaviya associated loan scheme was introduced during the year. The Bank commenced the issue of Negotiable Savings Certificates during the year.
An Endowment Savings Deposit Scheme was introduced. The People's Visa Card was introduced in association with Visa International. 24 branches were fully computerised.
1991 - 2000
The first ATM was installed at our Headquarters Branch. The Bank was a co-sponsor of the first Unit Trust established in the country viz. "NAMAL".
People's Venture Investment Co. (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of the Bank was formed. The Bank supported the Government's 200-garment factory programme. "People's Automated Banking System" (PABS) a banking application developed in-house, commenced live operations.
Of the 330 Bank branches operating throughout the country, 35 main branches were fully automated this year. "Vanitha Vasana", a savings scheme for women was introduced.
Eight new ATMs were installed. 160 branches were computerised under the automation programme.
"Gurusetha", a new deposit mobilisation and loan scheme catering to government teachers was launched with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education.
"Suwa Sevana", a credit package for Government sector health personnel was launched. "Sisu Udana", a new deposit scheme for school children was introduced. The Bank participated in two ADB funded credit schemes - the Tea Small Holdings Development Project and the Perennial Crops Development Project.
A Rural Banking Innovation Project was initiated with the collaboration of German Technical Co-operation to provide technical, financial and training assistance for branch operations and to introduce innovative products. Bank's fully owned subsidiaries, People's Leasing Co. (PA) Ltd. and People's Travels (Pvt) Ltd. commenced operations. Zonal offices were opened to strengthen decentralised administration and to facilitate better customer service.
The "Surathura" Loan Scheme was launched to assist self-employment projects.
The Bank extended its credit facilities to small and medium scale enterprises and industries under the NDB funded Small and Medium Enterprises Assistance Project (SMAP).
The total number of ATMs increased to 36 serving over 125,000 PET cardholders. 175 branches were fully automated. The number of pawning centres increased to 188. A special credit cum deposit scheme known as "Videshika" was introduced in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau to assist migrant workers. A Business Process Re-Engineering Programme was launched internally, with a view to redesigning main branches and to promote the activities of customer service teams.
The Bank launched "Isuru Udana", a deposit scheme that encourages parents and guardians to save for the benefit of their young charges.
"Jana Jaya", savings cum loan scheme was launched. The newly introduced "Jaya Sri" draw offered attractive prizes for depositors. The ATM network expanded to 74 machines throughout the country. The Central ATM Switch was introduced to connect the PABS branches and the ATM.
2001 - Today
The Bank's Corporate Management Team was strengthened by the recruitment of certain Heads of Division from the private banking sector. Restructuring of the Bank was initiated through the launch of a Strategic Plan. A New Annual Business Planning Process was implemented, to link with the Bank's Strategic Plan. The total number of ATM machines grew to 90. The Bank launched a staff Performance Incentive Scheme for Teams.
The number of PABS automated branches increased to 218. 119 branches were connected to Central ATM Switch. A Treasury automation package was implemented. New funds transfer pricing and new business segment profit measurement systems were introduced. Significant upgrading made to the quality of Financial MIS Reporting.
The Young Executive Saver's (YES) Account was launched to assist young people embarking on a career. The Bank initiated 'Deepavali' celebrations at all branches to identify with traditional customs of our large Hindu customer base. The Bank signed up with Silver lake System SDV BUD Malaysia to install a state-of-the-art Core banking package and Trade Services Solutions which initially is to be operational in 60 selected branches including Head Office. The Housing Loan product was repackaged and re-launched under the 'Jaya Nivasa' name. The new Savings Scheme titled "Visrama Suvaya" was launched for the pensioners. A Pulse Point staff action initiative scheme launched.
Second phase of the restructuring plan for 2004-2008 launched and approved by the Government of Sri Lanka based on the recapitalisation support of ADB. Bank obtained the first ever public rating of BBB+ from Fitch Ratings Lanka. Bank recorded a positive capital value for the first time since 1998 amplifying the turn around of the Bank. Core Banking project implemented successfully. Sisu Udana Vishishtayo, an innovative CSR project launched. Inaugural Jaya Pranama staff awards scheme held during the year. Innovative Ratasalli prize scheme launched to attract inward remittances of foreign currency into Sri Lanka. The highest ever Net Profit after Tax was achieved for the 3rd consecutive year, creating a new chapter in the Bank's history.
A landmark year with the 15th Chairman of the Bank Dr. PA Kiriwandeniya assuming duties at the beginning of December 2005. This was followed immediately thereafter with a receipt of LKR 2 Billion as the first tranche of Equity Capital investment in the Bank by the Government of Sri Lanka in keeping with the agreement signed between the Government, ADB and People's Bank. The Max Super deposit scheme was launched. Core-Banking project was further extended across the branch network. Further significant improvements made in the technology platform and customer services delivery facilities with 200 branches linked online for cash transactions. The Inaugural Sisu Udana Vishishtayo National awards ceremony held under the patronage of the then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka successfully completed with huge media publicity support. The Bank also was the major intermediary in bringing Government granted financial assistance for the rebuilding of lives, homes and businesses affected by the Tsunami of December 2004.
The Bank obtained an A-rating from Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. indicating a progress from its earlier Rating level.
The on-line access to AMEX account was facilitated enabling efficient customer service by granting immediate credit on account of incoming remittances.
People’s Bank was awarded the POP Award for 2006 in the Banking and Financial services sector by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing.
“The first lesson in school” was launched to inculcate the savings culture for new students entering year 1 classes where the initial deposit was matched one to one up to a maximum of LKR 500/-.
“Nidahase Upatha” rewarded new life by giving LKR 500/- to all babies born in the first week of February.
The second Sisu Udana Vishishtayo National Award ceremony was held under the patronage of the President of Sri Lanka in recognizing the extra curricular excellence of school children in varied fields.
The second tranche of Equity Capital Investment of LKR 1 Billion was received from the Government of Sri Lanka under the agreement signed by the Government, ADB and the People’s Bank.
The 16th Chairman of the Bank Mr. W. Karunajeewa assumed duties in May 2007. The rating level of A - from Fitch Ratings was maintained during the year. The Government of Sri Lanka injected the third capital tranche of Rs 1.5 Bn into People's Bank. People's Bank won the People's Award for the Banking & Financial Services Brand of the Year for the second consecutive year. To mark its 46th Anniversary celebrations the Bank carried out a hospital development project in all parts of the country. The Bank surpassed the Rs 300 Bn mark in total deposits during the year. Highest recorded profit before tax of Rs 5 Bn was a significant achievement in 2007.
Mr. M. Wickremasinghe assumed office as the 1 2th CEO/General Manager of the Bank. People's Bank won the People’s Award for the third consecutive year in the Banking and Financial sector and the coveted ‘Service Brand of the Year' award for the first time by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing. Bringing the anywhere anytime banking to its customers, the bank launched its latest service offer of Palm Top Banking to its customers.
The Government of Sri Lanka released the forth capital tranche of Rs 1.5 Bn. The Bank reached the Capital Adequacy Level of 10.5% by the end of the year. Further, the Bank's first Debenture issue of Rs 2.5 Bn was made in the year.
A notable advancement in the Bank’s remittance service with the introduction of ‘People’s e-Remittance’, a web-based remittance product supported by latest technology to remit money from overseas within minutes. Two new foreign currency deposit products were launched, viz., ‘Doo Daru Ethera Isura’ a foreign currency deposit product for children and ‘Special Foreign Investment Deposit Account’ [SFIDA].
The highest recorded profit before tax of Rs 5.6 Bn was a significant achievement in 2008.
The 13th CEO/General Manager of the Bank
Mr. P.V. Pathirana assumed duties in January, 2009.
The Bank issued its second Debenture issue for
Rs. 2.5 Bn during the year.
214 branches and 236 service centres are now
connected online. The Bank has strategically
placed over 300 ATM’s islandwide.
Total deposits reached Rs. 400 Bn.
The highest recorded profit before tax of Rs. 6.1 Bn
Received a SAFA (South Asian Federation of
Accountants) award for the 2008 Annual Report for
the first time in the Bank’s history.
Mr. H.S. Dharmasiri assumed office as the 14th CEO/General Manager of the Bank in October 2010.
Branch Network and service centres expanded to 679. ATMS increased to 330. People’s International VISA Debit Card was launched in July 2010.
The Bank obtained AA- from Fitch Rating Lanka Ltd. and AAA from Ram Ratings . Total deposits surpassed Rs. 462 Bn during the year 2010. The highest recorded profit before tax of Rs. 8.7 Bn was achieved.
ARC International two Gold Awards to People’s Bank Annual Report held at New York.
The Bank received SAFA (South Asian Federation of Accountants ) Award for the 1st place in the Public Sector Category for the 2009 Annual Report.
Mr. N. Vasantha Kumar assumed office as the 15th CEO/General Manager of the Bank on 22nd February 2011.
Total branch network reached 714 whilst ATM locations increased to 382 covering almost all parts of the Island.
The Bank obtained an upgraded rating of AA (stable) from Fitch Rating Lanka Ltd. The Bank’s total assets, total deposits and total loans and advances surpassed Rs. 663 Bn, Rs. 539 Bn and Rs. 478 Bn respectively. The highest recorded profit before tax of Rs. 15.3 Bn and a profit after tax of 10.2 Bn was achieved.
People’s bank won the SLIM-Nielsen People’s Award for the most popular bank in the Sri Lankan Banking and Financial Services Sector, SLIM-Nielsen People’s Awards - Service Brand of the Year and also won the Bronze Award for Service Category at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2011.
Total branch network reached 728 whilst ATM locations increased to 420 covering almost all parts of the island.
The Bank Obtained an upgraded rating of AA +(stable) from Fitch Rating Lanka Ltd.The Bank's total assets, total deposits and total loans and advances surpassed Rs. 873 Bn, Rs. 683 Bn and Rs. 660 Bn respectively.
The Bank's 2011 Annual Report won one Grand Award and three Gold Award in the Banks: National category at 2012 international ARC Awards.
Mr. Gamini S. Senarath assumed duties as the 17th Chairman of the Bank in February 2013.
23 SME Centres: were established across the island.
Surpassed 1 Mn cards milestone during the year with access to over 30 Mn Visa accredited merchants globally.
Corporate customers were provided with on line real time payment facility for EPE ETF and Customs Duty.
People': Bank became the first Bank to be connected to the National Common ATM Switch.
ATM locations increased to 460 with the Branch Network expanding to 735.
Rs. 5 Bn worth Debentures issued during the year at the Bank‘s Fourth Debenture issue.
The Bank’s asset base crossed one trillion rupees, as the second largest bank in the industry. Bank garnered the triple accolades of ‘Bank of the Year 2014’ at the European Global Banking and Finance Award - Sri Lanka 2014 as well as ‘Best Banking Group Sri Lanka’ and ‘Most Sustainable Bank Sri Lanka at the World Finance Banking Awards 2014.
Mr. Hemasiri Fernando assumed duties as the 18th Chairman of the Bank in February 2015
The Bank has taken an initiative to become a fully digitized bank.
The Bank has taken initiative to identify its customer 360 degree view of total exposure by embark on “data ware house” project to combine all its major data sources to derive this value proposition.
The Bank has upgraded its ATM infrastructure to an enterprise strength hardware platform to strengthen its capacity, reliability and its availability to customers.
The Bank has upgraded its Core Banking infrastructure to a state of the art hardware platform to strengthen its serviceability, increase efficiency and processing power.
People’s Bank recently declared open its 500th PET machine at the Military Hospital in Narahenpita
People’s Bank has embarked on a powerful sustainability journey to measure, manage and mitigate its environmental footprint by launching a formal Environmental Sustainability Policy, called ‘People’s Green Pulse’, which will guide the institution to achieve its aspirations for a greener future through focused environmental management initiatives.
People’s Bank YES Savings Account has been bestowed with the Gold award for ‘Service Brand of the Year’ at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards
People’s Bank proudly launched new logo to reflect the Bank’s evolution to keep pace with new global banking trends and to cater to fast-changing aspirations of customers on December 2016
Accelerating its digitalization drive, People's Bank proudly launched its Self Banking Units with CDM/ATM/Kiosks