Seylan Bank PLC was founded in 1987 and opened its doors for business on 24th March 1988, in Colombo Fort, the traditional banking district of Sri Lanka's largest city. Originally named Seylan Trust Bank Limited, it was designated a Licensed Commercial Bank and incorporated as a public company with a broad base of shareholders. From its founding, the new institution was part of the Ceylinco Group of Companies, a major Sri Lankan conglomerate operating in a wide range of industries. The goal of the Bank's Founder Chairman, Dr. Lalith Kotelawala, was to offer retail customers a more welcoming, service-oriented alternative in a banking culture that was generally perceived to be formal and regimented, even a bit austere. From the outset, Seylan Bank presented itself as a flexible, customer-friendly choice, summing-up its promise in a service motto that soon caught the attention of prospective customers: 'The Bank with a Heart'.
In December 2008, Seylan Bank was confronted by a sudden, unexpected crisis of public confidence resulted by the crisis evolved around the "Golden Key Credit Card Company" which is a subsidiary of the Ceylinco Group of companies. With the timely intervention of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the provisions of Section 31 of the Monetary Law Act, a new board of directors was appointed to manage the bank. The new board under the Chairmanship of MR. Eastman Narangoda, a veteran of the banking industry who had previously held the position of General Manager/CEO of National Savings Bank - a state-owned institution, took the challenge of re stabilizing the bank and regaining the customer confidence. The effort of the management and the staff paid dividends in a matter of months and Seylan Bank PCL rose like a Phoenix from the ashes and reached a mile stone in 2010 by recording a Profit after tax of LKR 1.2 Billion surpassing the 1 Billion thresholds for the first time in it's history.
In 2011 Mr. Kapila Ariyaratne was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer / General Manager of the Bank as the successor to Mr. Ajita Pasqual.
Mr. Mohan Peiris President Counsel (former Attorney General) was appointed as the New Chairman of the bank, successor to Mr. Eastman Narangoda with effect from 20th April 2012.
Mr. Nihal Jayamanne (PC) was appointed as the new Chairman on 17th of January 2013 as the successor to Mr. Mohan Peiris (PC).