Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank Launches Progressive Youth Economic Empowerment Program

Blog Post
Dec. 16, 2011

Originally posted on

On December 1st, Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank launched Yauwanabhimana (meaning the ‘Pride of Youth’), a uniquely designed economic empowerment programme for youth aged 18 – 30. Chandula Abeywikrema, the Deputy General Manager of HNB and YouthSave’s Expert Advisory Board member, gave life to the idea spearheading this ground breaking initiative, which aims to support youth to develop the soft skills, vocational skills, financial literacy, English language skills, technical know-how, and market linkages (through its corporate partners) needed to thrive in Sri Lanka’s growing economy.

According to Mr. Abeywickrema, “the Bank is aiming for greater inclusion, making the youth of the country active stakeholders and partners in economic development. These efforts will contribute to their [young people’s] own progress, resulting in a trickle-down effect towards greater sustainability of the banking and finance industry in Sri Lanka that is driven by [our] Corporate Commercial Responsibility.” Certainly, this initiative is well-timed, given Sri Lanka’s three decades of youth uprisings, fueled in large part by educated youth that became disenfranchised from the lack of economic opportunities.

Realizing the complex challenges facing youth in Sri Lanka, HNB has been at the forefront of increasing youth opportunities and serving as a corporate citizen. In the addition to Yauwanabhimana, HNB offers three types of child and youth savings accounts: Singithi Kirikatiyo (for children below 5 years of age) Singithi Lama (for youth aged 12 and under), and Teen (for youth aged 13 to 18). Youth clients that already own accounts will be eligible to graduate into the Yauwanabhimana Empowerment Programme once they have turned 18 years of age. Other features that youth have access to through the programme, include savings accounts with a minimum deposit of Rs 1000 (roughly USD 9.00), along with access to personal, vehicle, business, education, and housing loans.

We look forward staying updated from Mr. Abeywickrema on the launch of this ambitious youth empowerment programme!