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Bags two Golds, one Silver and one Bronze including the coveted Service Brand of the Year

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon won the coveted ‘Service Brand of the Year’ and three other accolades at the 2014 SLIM Brand Excellence Awards to become the bank that won the most awards at this prestigious event conducted by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing.

Sri Lanka’s largest private bank took the Golds in the ‘Service Brand’ category and in the ‘Best New Entrant’ category for its ‘Anagi’ Savings Account for Women, as well as the Silver in the ‘Best Local Brand’ and the Bronze in the ‘CSR Brand of the Year’ categories in a dominant showing at this annual gala.

“There can be no better acknowledgement of the emphasis we place on service excellence than to be adjudged the best overall in the Services sector in Sri Lanka,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “This award reaffirms that we are committed to continuously update and improve our processes and product offering to give the best to our stakeholders. All the hard work put in at many levels to build our corporate image, as well as our holistic approach to marketing have clearly paid off. These awards for Brand Excellence are a tribute to the passion of the entire Commercial Bank team.”

The ‘Service Brand of the Year’ is one of the six main categories (Product Brand of the Year, Service Brand of the Year, Innovative Brand of the Year, Turnaround Brand of the Year, Local Brand of the Year and Export Brand of the Year) awarded annually by SLIM. The scores achieved in these categories are evaluated by the judges to decide on the Brand of the Year award.

In the Special Awards categories, Commercial Bank’s Gold for ‘New Entrant of the Year’ recognises the success of the ‘Anagi’ Savings Account developed exclusively for women and launched in late 2012. The new account offers an interest rate over the normal savings rate, one of the best rates in the savings account category for women, Gold Loans at a concessionary rate and a Commercial Bank Shopping Debit Card. It was launched by Commercial Bank in recognition of the fact that women are shouldering an increasing number of responsibilities while heading more and more Sri Lankan households, resulting in the economically active female population undergoing rapid growth.

The Silver in the highly competitive ‘Local Brand of the Year’ category acknowledges the strength of the Commercial Bank as a wholly home-grown corporate brand not only in the Banking sector but across all sectors of business in both the ‘Products’ and ‘Services’ segments. “This award speaks to the extent to which Commercial Bank has won the hearts and minds of Sri Lankan consumers, competing against local brands across the entire spectrum of commercial activity,” the Bank’s Deputy General Manager – Marketing Mr Hasrath Munasinghe said.

In the sphere of Corporate Social Responsibility, the Bronze awarded to Commercial Bank recognises the impact of the multi-faceted community initiatives undertaken by the Bank on its brand value. These initiatives include the Bank’s nationally-scaled programme of donating computer laboratories to schools, a project to supplement English language classes in rural schools, the annual presentation of scholarships and laptops to undergraduates, the donation of medical equipment to hospitals around the country, assistance to war heroes, projects to promote and conserve the country’s cultural heritage, and emergency assistance in times of flood or drought.

Commercial Bank’s flagship community initiative in the sphere of IT Education has resulted in 150 IT Labs donated by the Bank benefitting an estimated 150,000 children to date. Significantly enhancing the value of these IT Labs, the Bank recently launched an innovative online education programme under which more than 46,000 children from 46 schools are now accessing carefully selected mathematics and science lessons via a specially created web platform, to supplement their regular lessons in these subjects.

Held for the 13th successive year, SLIM Brand Excellence Awards honour the brand building efforts of organisations. It is a keenly contested event and this year the entries reached an all time high of over 100 applications from more than 40 industries. Many leading brands vied for the 12 awards on offer at the awards ceremony held at the BMICH.

Ranked the ‘Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2014’ by The Asian Banker and the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years, Commercial Bank is also the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014. The bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. It has also been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years in the LMD rankings, and has been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the Magazine.

Photo Caption:

Commercial Bank's Deputy General Manager Marketing HasrathMunasighe and Senior Manager Marketing IreshaDegamboda (second right and extreme right) receive the Service Brand of the Year award from SLIM President KalanaRatnayake.

 

 

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon rewarded four students who achieved the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the island at the 2014 Year 5 scholarship examination, at a ceremony held recently with the objective of supporting their educational endeavours.

Conducted as part of the scholarship rewards programme of ‘Arunalu,’ the Bank’s signature Children’s Savings Account, the presentation saw the student who achieved the highest marks, the student who scored the second highest marks and two students placed third island-wide being recognised for their academic excellence.

At the ceremony, W.A. Venuja Nimsath of Embilipitiya Junior Secondary School Embilipitiya was honoured for achieving the 1st place in the island, Malaka Nethmal Thilakarathne of Royal Primary School, Polonnaruwa was rewarded for obtaining second highest marks and Sahani Yasodara Gunasekara of Pitiyegedara Primary School, Bemmulla Gampaha, and Niswar Fathima Samah of Zahira National College, Mawanella were rewarded for the third highest marks they achieved. Apart from attractive cash prizes, the students were presented with valuable gift packs courtesy of Arunalu Children’s Savings Account.

“The Arunalu rewards scheme is a significant activity in the Bank’s portfolio of annual commitments. It reflects the continuous effort by the Bank to motivate students and reward them for their academic achievements,” said Mr. Hasrath Munasinghe, Deputy General Manager – Marketing of Commercial Bank.

In 2013, Commercial Bank’s Arunalu Children’s Savings Account paid Rs 4 million in cash rewards to 575 students placed first, second and third in their respective schools at the Year 5 scholarship examination. This was in addition to nine students who were placed first, second and third in the island at the examination.

Under the revised Arunalu scheme announced by the Bank in 2013, an account holder who is placed 1st in the island at the Year 5 scholarship examination receives up to Rs 170,000 in monthly instalments of Rs 2,000 each, until he or she turns 18 years of age. The students placed second and third in the island receive up to Rs 127,500 and Rs 85,000 respectively in monthly instalments of Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,000, until the age of 18 years if they are Arunalu account holders. Even if they are non-account holders of Arunalu, students who are placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the island are rewarded with attractive cash prices of Rs. 50,000, Rs. 35,000 and Rs. 25,000 respectively.

Additionally, ‘Arunalu’ account holders who are placed first, second and third in their respective schools receive cash prizes of Rs 10,000, Rs 7,500 and Rs 5,000 each, in a continuation of the previous rewards scheme operated by Sri Lanka’s largest private bank, while all district winners receive Rs. 50,000 if they are Arunalu account holders, the Bank said.

Launched in 1991, Arunalu has been Commercial Bank’s key savings account which caters to children of the school going age. In 1998 Commercial Bank was the first bank to introduce the year 5 Scholarship examination cash prize scheme with the intention of strengthening its enduring commitment to excellence in education.

Ranked the ‘Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2014’ by The Asian Banker and the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years, Commercial Bank is also the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014. The bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. It has also been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years in the LMD rankings, and has been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the Magazine.

Photo Caption: The four students placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Sri Lanka at the 2014 Year 5 Scholarship exam with the rewards they received from Commercial Bank’s ‘Arunalu’ Children’s Savings Account.



As Hindus around the world celebrate Deepavali – ‘the festival of lights’ – on Wednesday, 22nd October, a Public and Bank holiday, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon will keep 65 branches open for business onthat day for the convenience of customers.

This includes the 28 Supermarket Banking Centres operated by the Bank and 19‘365-day’ branches which will work their customary hours, and another 18 branches that will be open from 9 am to 1 pm on that day, the Bank said.

These 18 branches are Wellawatte, Kollupitiya, Kotahena, Maharagama, Borella, Nugegoda, Narahenpita, Battaramulla, Panchikawatte, Union Place, Wattala, Dehiwela, Kiribathgoda, Avissawella, Piliyandala, the Foreign Branch, Main Street (Colombo 1) and Katunayake Branch

.

Ranked the ‘Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2014’ by The Asian Banker and the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years , Commercial Bank is also the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014.TheBank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years.It has also been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years in the LMD rankings, and been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.



Offers faster approvals and access to discounts on building materials and fittings

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced further reductions in interest rates applicable to the Bank’s Home Loans along with fast-tracked approvals and discounts from selected suppliers of materials and fittings.

The Floating Rate has been reduced to 9.5%, while the Fixed Rates have been reduced to 10.5% and 12% for loans up to 10 years and above 10 years respectively, the Bank said.

For fixed income earners, Home Loans are now being approved within three working days on receipt of all specified documents.

Apart from that, the Bank said it has secured discounts up to 35% from building material suppliers on selected building materials such as cement and allied products, paint and wood care products, floor and wall tiles, roofing sheets, electrical wiring, switches and allied electrical accessories, and bathroom ware and accessories for customers who obtain Home Loans for construction purposes.

“Supporting the aspirations of Sri Lankans to build their own homes fits perfectly with our brand promise of ‘For a Better Future.’ We therefore periodically review products like Home Loans in order to give our customers the best deal possible. Our Online banking customers can apply for Home Loans through the online banking platform,” said Chandana Gunasekera, Deputy General Manager – Personal Banking at Commercial Bank.

Commercial Bank Home Loans are available for the purposes of purchase of land, a house or condominium apartment, construction of a house, purchase of land and construction of a house, renovations, extensions or completion of construction or for repayment of a home loan obtained from another institution.

The Bank even offers foreign currency Home Loans designed for Sri Lankans working overseas who are in a position to repay the loan in foreign currency.

Applicants are also offered the flexibility and convenience of choosing the loan amount according to their specific requirements and income, and a maximum repayment period of 20 years.

Applications for Home Loans are available at any of Commercial Bank’s 238 branches and can be downloaded from the Bank’s website www.combank.lk

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years (2011-2014), and ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Commercial Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.


Bank also helps Jaffna islanders develop alternate source of income through seaweed cultivation
 

The gift of a regular supply of life sustaining water has eased one of the many hardships faced by the residents of a small village located on a geological formation of limestone on an island off Jaffna.

For the 225 families of Melinchimunai, on the island of Kayts, the donation by the Commercial Bank CSR Trust of a Massey Ferguson 4-wheel tractor, a 4,000-litre water bowser and 100 25-litre water cans represents a tangible improvement in their quality of life.

Melinchimunai and its surrounding villages are situated on a geological formation of limestone that offers no proper water sources for the basic needs of their inhabitants, most of whose livelihood is fishing. The villagers have had to cope with a severe scarcity of water for many years, until the intervention of Commercial Bank in the form of a water supply project that will directly benefit more than 400 people.

Using the tractor and bowser donated by the Bank, they can now transport water from Chaddy or the Jaffna mainland to their village and store the water in the cans provided.

The Bank’s donation to the people of Melinchimunai was presented by Commercial Bank Regional Manager – Northern Region Mr Roy Nicholas to Rev. Fr. E. S. C. Mariathas, Parish Priest of St. Sebastian’s Church, Karampon, Kayts, who is also the Patron of the Melinchimunai Development Society. The project was coordinated by the Development Credit Department (DCD) of Commercial Bank and the staff of the Bank’s Velanai branch.

“Being able to help needy communities with projects of this nature gives us a great deal of satisfaction, because we know that we are truly making a difference,” said Mr Nandika Buddhipala,Commercial Bank’s Chief Financial Officer and Trustee of the Bank’s CSR Trust. “In many instances like Melinchimunai, all that is needed is to provide the wherewithal to enable the community to overcome a hurdle. The fact that there are organisations like Commercial Bank that care for their wellbeing can give them new hope and motivation and rejuvenate the community.”

Besides helping the village of Melinchimunai resolve its water problem, Commercial Bank also organised an awareness programme on the economics of seaweed cultivation to encourage the fishing communities of the islands of Jaffna to develop an alternate source of income. The programme conducted at the Bank’s Velanai Branch was attended by 98 fishermen from the islands of Kayts, Mandathivu, Punkuduthivu, Nagadeepa, Delft and Analathivu.

Resource persons for the programme included Mrs Rajani Vijayalan, Senior Manager at the Jaffna Regional Office of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (Financial Literacy), Dr M. Shanmugam, General Manager – R & D at AquAgri Processing (P) Ltd. Tamil Nadu, (Seaweed cultivation), Mr K Sivaram, Head Of Business Operations – at Hayleys Aquaagri (Pvt) Ltd., and Mr S Saleepan, Fisheries Development Officer (Assistance/Regulations in Seaweed cultivation).

Commercial Bank’s Velanai Branch was established in 2011, with the intention of serving the communities of Velanai, Kayts, Mandathivu, Punkuduthivu and Analathivu islands. The Velanai branch has granted micro-finance loans worth of Rs. 90 million to 588 fishermen to date with the help of 12 fishermen’s societies.

Ranked the ‘Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2014’ by The Asian Banker, and the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years (2011-2014), the Commercial Bank is also the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014. The Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. Commercial Bank has also been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

 

 

Commercial Bank’s signature Children’s Savings Account ‘Arunalu’ partnered with ITN by sponsoring a fun filled event for children at the Leisure World Theme Park at Kaluaggala, Hanwella to recognise and reward youngsters in commemoration of World Children’s Day on Wednesday, 1st October.

The grand event which attracted thousands of children from across Sri Lanka, included many activities such as art competitions, darts competitions and many games with a special competition for mothers by the Bank’s ‘Anagi’ Women’s Savings Account as a tribute to motherhood. Three children who were revered on a national scale for their heroic rescue acts and sports achievements were also honoured by Arunalu Children’s Savings Account by presenting each of them with an Arunalu Account worth Rs 10,000.

“Children represent the future of our country. It is our duty as a leading corporate entity to motivate them to achieve their goals recognising and appreciating their talents in every possible manner,” said Mr Hasrath Munasinghe – Deputy General Manager Marketing of Commercial Bank.

This was the third consecutive year that Commercial Bank’s Arunalu Children’s Savings Account sponsored this grand annual event.

All participating children were presented attractive Arunalu branded gifts along with Anagi branded memorabilia while the winners of each competition were presented with special Arunalu branded gift packs.

Offering an interest rate of 6.5% per annum, ‘Arunalu’ is considered the best Children’s Savings Account in Sri Lanka. The Arunalu account has established the largest year 5 Scholarship cash prize scheme in the country with an educational support scholarship scheme for children who are placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the country each year, until they are 18 years of age. Furthermore, the Arunalu Children’s Savings Account presents attractive cash prizes annually to account holders who are the top scorers at the Year 5 scholarship examination in every school while the account balance of District winners holding ‘Arunalu’ accounts will be doubled up to a maximum of Rs. 50,000. In 2013, students were rewarded over Rs. 4 million under the Arunalu Scholarship scheme.

‘Arunalu’ accounts can be opened for children below 18 years of age at any of Commercial Bank’s branches island-wide.

Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

 

Photo Caption:

Scenes from the Arunalu sponsored ITN event for World Children’s Day

 

Joins region’s leading banks on The Asian Banker ‘500 Largest and Strongest Banks’ list

 

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has added another prestigious international accolade to its collection, being adjudged ‘The Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2014’ by The Asian Banker, a leading provider of strategic intelligence on the financial services industry.

The award is based on a detailed and transparent scorecard that ranks commercial banks on six areas of balance sheet financial performance: the ability to scale, balance sheet growth, risk profile, profitability, asset quality and liquidity.

It was formally presented to Commercial Bank Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director Mr S Renganathan on Tuesday, 30th September in Boston, USA,by Todd R. Burwell, President/CEO of BAFT, the association for organisations actively engaged in international transaction banking. The presentation took place on the side-lines of Sibos 2014, the annual conference, exhibition and networking event organised by SWIFT for the financial industry. Billed the world’s premier financial services event, this year’s Sibos conference was attended by 7,000 international decision makers and topic experts from financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners.

This ranking as Sri Lanka’s strongest bank places Commercial Bank among The Asian Banker ‘500 Largest and Strongest Banks’ – a ranking widely followed by investors, analysts and the media as the leading source to assess the financial strength of commercial banks in the region.

Commenting on this latest international ranking accorded to the Bank, Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr JeganDurairatnam said: “The key performance indicators assessed by the panel of international experts are the components of the financial strength that is the ultimate goal inBanking. This ranking reaffirms that Commercial Bank continues to get all its fundamentals right even in tough conditions.”

Ranked alongside Commercial Bank in The Asian Banker 500 as the strongest banks in their respective countries are Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), Janata Bank (Bangladesh), China Construction Bank Corporation (China), HDFC Bank (India), Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (Japan), Maybank (Malaysia), ANZ Bank New Zealand (New Zealand), MCB Bank (Pakistan), DBS Group (Singapore), Shinhan Financial Group (South Korea), Cathay United Bank (Taiwan) Siam Commercial Bank (Thailand) and Standard Bank Group (South Africa).

The Asian Banker Strongest Bank is an annual assessment of the financial and business performance of the commercial banking industry in the Asia Pacific region. The assessment ranks the top performing banks in each country by strength, an evaluation that is based on a belief that a strong bank demonstrates long-term profit ability from its core businesses.

The winners are determined using a scorecard approach based on the six crucial performance indicators rated on a scale of 0-5. In 2013, The Banker introduced a forward looking element called the “Watch List” into the evaluation. This identifies and considers the ex-ante impact of specific evaluation parameters, without changing the composition of the scorecard. For example, in this year’s ranking the magazine identified high net loan growth (CAGR of more than 30%) and low NPL (less than 1%) in the preceding two years as a possible source of vulnerability if there were a slowdown in macroeconomic conditions and a downturn in credit cycle and asset quality in the region.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years (2011-2014), and ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Commercial Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

Commercial Bank operates 238 branches and an ATM network of 600 terminals in Sri Lanka.

 

Photo Caption:

Commercial Bank’s Executive Director/Chief Operating  Officer Mr S. Renganathan (second left) and Todd R. Burwell, President/CEO of BAFT (extreme left)with the award presented to the Bank

 

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it will keep 65 branches open for business on Monday, 6th October, declared a Public and Bank holiday on account of Id-Ul-Alha (Hadji Festival Day).

This includes the Bank’s 28 Supermarket Banking Centres and 19‘365-day’ branches which will work their customary hours, and another 18 branches that will be open from 9 am to 1 pm on that day, the Bank said.

These 18 branches are Wellawatte, Kollupitiya, Kotahena, Maharagama, Borella, Nugegoda, Narahenpita, Battaramulla, Panchikawatte, Union Place, Wattala, Dehiwela, Kiribathgoda, Avissawella, Piliyandala, the Foreign Branch, Main Street (Colombo 1) and Seeduwa.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years (2011-2014), and ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Commercial Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

 

Attractive annual Bonus + insurance cover of Rs 50,000 a year for surgery and hospitalisation


The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has launched a pensions plan in an effort to empower the future aspirations of the youthas well as help imminent retirees fulfil their expectations.

Commercial Bank ‘Future Pensions Plan’ can be opened by anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 years under one of five deposit plans offered by the Bank.

Under the first option, depositors aged 18-54 may deposit equal instalments every month till the age of 55 andstart receiving the pension at the age of 55.

The second option, for the same age group, enables a depositor to make a single, lump sum deposit and start receiving the pension at the age of 55 or 60.

The third option allowsdepositors aged 18-59 years to deposit equal instalments every month till 60 years and start receiving a pension from 60 years.

Depositors aged 55 to 60, can make a single, lump sum deposit and start receiving the pension from the end of the same month, while those aged 60 to 65, who will be exempt from Withholding Tax, may make a single, lump sum deposit and also start receiving their pensionsfrom the samemonth.The Pension Plan provides an opportunity forpeople who are retiring to deposit their Provident fund, Trust Fund or Gratuity as a lump sum payment.

The Future Pensions Plan allows both individual and joint pension plans to be opened if both parties are above 60 years of age, the Bank said.

Depositors may choose a pension receivable period ofthree options – 15,20, or25 years.

The depositor will also benefit from a very attractive annual bonus payment paid by the bank, during the agreed period of payment. The annual bonus is equivalent to the monthly pension payment, the Bank said.

“There is an identified need in our country for investing in retirement, but the options have hitherto been limited,” said Mr. S. Renganathan, Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer. “A bank of the size and stature of Commercial Bank can play a significant role in addressing this need, helping to secure the future for both the younger generation and the senior citizens of the country.”

The minimum monthly pension payment will be Rs. 10,000 andthe maximum Rs. 100,000, depending on the need and the capacity of the depositor.

A surgical and hospitalisation cover of Rs 50,000 annually from the age of 18 years up to the age of 75 years will be available topersons covered by this pension plan.

If a third party wishes to open an account on behalf of a senior citizen, such a request will be considered subject to the pension plan being opened in the name of the senior citizen.

The new Future Pension Plan allows the depositor to nominate his / her spouse or any other beneficiary who will receive the balance of the pension payments and the bonus payments due, throughout the agreed period of the plan, in the event of the depositor’s unexpected demise. However the other benefits will not be available tothe nominees.

The Future Pensions Plan can be obtained from any one of the Commercial Bank’s 238 branches in Sri Lanka and is backed by the strength and stability of the country’s largest private bank.

Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.



Branch network grows to 238 with latest opening at new Gold Centre in Colombo

The milestone 600thautomated teller machine (ATM) of the Commercial Bank in Sri Lanka was ceremonially commissioned by Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Dr RajithaSenaratneand Defence Ministry Secretary MrGotabhayaRajapaksaon Friday 5th September at the new Colombo Gold Centre.

The ATM is located at the Bank’s Gold Centre branch, its 238th branch in Sri Lanka, on theGround Floor of the refurbished complex in the precincts of the former St. John’s Fish Market.

Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO MrJeganDurairatnam said both the new branch and the ATM would provide an invaluable service to the many gold and jewellery retailerswho open shops at the new Gold Centre, as well to the buyers who visit the complex.

Commercial Bank’s ATM network has set many records for the value of cash dispensed and the number of transactions processed during peak shopping periods in Sri Lanka, and continues to improve on them each year. The latest record for cash dispensed in a single day was set on 11th April 2014, when users of the Bank’s ATM network withdrew Rs 2.05 billion. Between the 1st and 12th of April 2014, the Commercial Bank ATM network, then at 585 terminals, dispensed Rs 15.438 billion.

“The importance of a robust, reliable and well-serviced network of strategically located ATMs needs no better testament than these figures,” Mr Durairatnam said. “Our ATM network plays a huge part in enhancing convenience for millions of people in Sri Lanka. The Bank is therefore fully committed to upgrading and expanding the network in keeping with the evolving needs of the populace.”

Commercial Bank’s 500th ATM was installed at the Maradana Railway Station, and its 400th was at the Bank’s Ruwanwella Branch.

In addition to facilitating withdrawals, the Bank’s ATM machines enable convenient settlement of water and electricity bills, bills of Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat, Hutch and Lanka Bell networks, and Commercial Bank Credit Card payments 24-hours a day, 365-days of the year. The Bank’s network of teller machines is linked with millions of ATMs across the world.

Commercial Bank ATMs also support the networks of Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus, Visa, Plus, Amex, Discover and Diner’s Club thus enabling tourists and other visitors to Sri Lanka to withdraw money from their overseas accounts for spending in the country.

Holders of Commercial Bank’s standard ATM cum Shopping Debit Cards can withdraw up to Rs 40,000 from the Bank’s ATMs per day. The Bank also offers customers the option of setting their own ATM withdrawal limits up to a maximum of Rs 100,000 a day, and a point-of-sale limit of up to Rs 500,000.

The largest private bank in Sri Lanka and the only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed four years consecutively in the world’s Top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014. The Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. In August this year, the Bank was rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the 10th successive year, was named the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the fourth year, and was rated No 1 overall by the magazine for Honesty for the second consecutive year.

Photo caption:
Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Dr RajithaSenaratne and Defence Ministry Secretary Mr GotabhayaRajapaksa formally open Commercial Bank's 600th ATM at the Colombo Gold Centre in the presence of the Bank's Deputy Chairman Mr M P Jayawardena, Chief Operating Officer Mr S Renganathan and other senior officials.



In one of the first transactions under the Financial Sector Consolidation Road Map mandated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC acquired a 100% stake of Indra Finance Limited, with the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement signed on 1st September 2014 at the Commercial Bank Head Office in Colombo.

Representing the Bank, were Mr. Jegan Durairatnam – Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr. S Renganathan – Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Sanath Manatunge – Deputy General Manager Corporate Banking (Designate), Mr. Isuru Thillekewardena – Deputy General Manager, Human Resources Management, Mr. Naveen Sooriyarachchi – Assistant General Manager Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr Athula Samarasinghe – CEO Designate for Indra Finance, Mrs. Ranjani Gamage – Company Secretary and Mrs. Namal Gamage – Chief Manager Legal.

Representing Indra Finance Limited, were Mr. Indra Silva – Principal Shareholder, Mr. Rushanka Silva – Director, Mr. Athula Silva – Director, Mr. Saliya Rajakaruna – Managing Director and Mr. Chandima Wijetunga – Company Secretary.
This acquisition will significantly strengthen Commercial Bank’s leasing operations, enabling it to offer lower priced re-finance options for customers of Indra Traders, which has a strong share of the motor vehicles import and leasing business, the Bank said.
Established in 1969, Commercial Bank is the largest private bank in Sri Lanka and the only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed four years consecutively in the world’s Top 1,000 Banks. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. In August this year, the Bank was rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the 10th successive year, was named the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the fourth year, and was rated No 1 overall by the magazine for Honesty for the second consecutive year.

Indra Finance Limited (INFL) located at No.182, Katugastota Road, Kandy was incorporated in 1987. The Company was licensed as a Specialized Leasing Company in 2007 and then as a Licensed Finance Company in 2013. The Company’s principal activities are granting lease facilities, hire purchase, mortgage loans and other credit facilities. INFL benefits from close affiliation to the Indra Group as a majority of its business flows from financing both passenger and commercial vehicles sold and distributed by Indra Traders (Pvt) Limited. INFL presently has offices in 11 locations throughout the country.

Photo caption:

Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam (fourth from right) and Mr Indra Silva, Chairman of Indra Traders exchange the agreement in the presence of senior representatives of the Bank and Indra Finance



The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has once again partnered with Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) to offer attractive leasing options for TATA commercial vehicles in a sixth month promotion commencing August 2014.

Under the agreement, DIMO will provide substantial discounts to Commercial Bank customers to lease TATA vehicles. The Bank will provide low interest rates and monthly rentals for leasing facilities. The vehicles covered under the special scheme include TATA trucks and buses.

A special insurance cover through Commercial Bancassurance has also been introduced for customers who lease vehicles through the Bank. This cover requires a low insurance premium.

“The partnership between Commercial Bank and DIMO will cater to the demand for quality commercial vehicles with low operating cost,” said Mr. S. Renganathan, Chief Operating Officer of Commercial Bank. “We believe it will be particularly helpful in the context of the construction boom in the country.”

The largest private bank in Sri Lanka and the only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed four years consecutively in the world’s top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank is one of the leading leasing service providers in the country and is a member of the Leasing Association of Sri Lanka. It provides leasing facilities for a range of assets of diverse values including machinery.

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed four years consecutively in the world’s Top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank operates a network of 237 branches and 599 ATMs in Sri Lanka. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

DIMO, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the market leader in the commercial vehicle segment in Sri Lanka. DIMO and TATA have a strong relationship of over 53 years in the Sri Lankan market. DIMO has sales, service and spare parts outlets island wide with 24 hour road side assistance to provide an effective and an efficient service to the company’s customers.



The CSR Trust of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has donated a large number of 1,000 litre water storage tanks to the people of Kaduruwela, Ampara and Nikaweratiya and deployed 10,000 litre water bowsers for 15 days in the Mullaitivu District, in a project to help families survive the severe drought affecting these areas. Pictured here is a donation of water tanks in the Nikaweratiya area, by officials of the Bank. (From left to right) Mrs N. D. Pathirana (Assistant Divisional Secretary – Nikaweratiya, Mr Amal Alles, Commercial Bank’s Regional Manager – Wayamba and Mr Manoj De Silva, the Manager of the Bank’s Nikaweratiya branch.

 

 - Assets up 22% YoY to Rs 683.6 billion
 - Deposits cross Rs 500 billion in first half of 2014
 - Loans & Advances up 12% YoY to Rs 438.2 billion 

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has reported a noteworthy performance, posting profit before tax of Rs 6.474 billion and net profit after tax of Rs 4.479 billion for the first half of 2014, despite shrinking margins.

Sri Lanka’s largest private bank reported a 9.39% improvement in its total operating income of Rs 17.698 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2014, through higher business volumes coupled with a notable increase in recoveries, despite there being a drop in foreign exchange income which was largely attributable to the appreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar. Gross income for the first six months of 2014 grew by 1.9% to reach Rs. 35.374 billion, the Bank said in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Interest expenses declined by 5.13% to Rs 17.301 billion with an improvement in the Bank’s CASA ratio, the Bank said. Consequently, net interest income for the period at Rs 13.133 billion reflected an improvement of 10% over the first half of 2013.

Total expenses for the period amounted to Rs 7.626 billion, and this reflected an increase of 9.09% compared to the corresponding period last year.

The Bank’s profit before financial VAT and NBT was up 1.92% to Rs 7.587 billion. The imposition of Nation Building Tax (NBT) from 1st January 2014 resulted in the Bank’s NBT for the six months amounting to Rs 159 million. Financial VAT and NBT together totalled Rs 1.113 billion for the first half 2014, an increase of 18.88%. These factors contributed to the marginal drop in the profit before tax of Rs 6.474 billion for the period under review. However, the profit after tax of Rs 4.479 billion reflected an increase of Rs 7.5 million.

Commenting on these results, Commercial Bank Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe said the higher business volumes recorded, strong deposit and asset growth and improvement of key ratios during the six month reviewed are indicative of the ability of the Bank to weather the changing conditions in the banking industry.

Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said the Bank had adopted a more robust mechanism in provisioning for individual impairment aimed at improving the provision cover. Although this resulted in an increase in the total impairment charges by Rs. 741.559 million, the operating profit of the Bank reflected an improvement over the first half of 2013.

The Bank’s total assets reached Rs. 683.579 billion as at 30th June 2014, a growth of Rs 125.468 billion or 22.48% over corresponding period last year and Rs. 76.973 billion or 12.69% since December 31, 2013.

Loans and receivables totalled to Rs 438 billion at the end of the period under review, an increase of Rs 18.7 billion or 4.46% since December 31, 2013, and a growth of Rs 48 billion or 12.33%, over corresponding period last year.

The focus on recoveries enabled the Bank to reduce both the Gross NPL ratio and the Net NPL ratio to 4.32% and 2.48% as at end June 2014 from 4.40% and 2.54% respectively as at end March 2014 despite industry NPL levels remaining high at 6.2%.

Total deposits grew by Rs 38.216 billion or 8.21% over the six months at an average of more than Rs 6.4 billion a month, to Rs 503.563 billion as at June 30, 2014. Deposit growth over the corresponding period of last year was Rs 74 billion or 17.23%.

The Bank’s Tier I capital adequacy ratio stood at 13.39% while the total capital adequacy ratio (Tier I + Tier II) stood at 16.73% and both these ratios were well above the minimum statutory requirement of 5% and 10%.

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed four years consecutively in the world’s Top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank operates a network of 237 branches and 599 ATMs in Sri Lanka. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The Bank has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years, has been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years, and been rated No 1 for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

Photo caption
Commercial Bank Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe (left) and Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam.




Overall, second Most Respected entity in Sri Lanka for 4th year in a row

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been rated as the most respected bank in Sri Lanka for the 10th consecutive year and the second ‘Most Respected’ corporate entity in the country for the fourth consecutive year in the annual LMD rankings.

Additionally, the Bank was ranked No 1 in Sri Lanka for ‘Honesty’ for the second successive year, topping the category that is most important to businesses in the financial services sector.

Commercial Bank is the only bank among the Top 5 Most Respected entities in Sri Lanka, and is ranked among the Top 3 in several other key aspects such as Financial Performance, Quality Consciousness, Management Profile, CSR and Vision. The Bank has been the Most Respected bank in the list since its inception in 2005.

The 2014 and tenth edition of this prestigious list of Sri Lanka’s most respected companies includes the most diversified conglomerates in the country and some of the world’s best-known multinationals.

“For an entity whose business is dependent on public trust, confidence and respect, being ranked second among the top corporates in Sri Lanka is an important endorsement,” Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr. Jegan Durairatnam said. “The opinions of the business leaders and others who participate in the LMD survey reflect the emphasis the Bank places on integrity, performance, best practices and commitment to the community.”

The LMD rankings are based on the opinions of the general public. Respondents include senior executives from the state and private sectors and their views are obtained under 10 areas of evaluation: Financial Performance, Quality Consciousness, Management Profile, Honesty, Innovation, Dynamism, Corporate Culture, CSR, Vision and Nation-mindedness. In eight of these 10 areas, the Bank was placed within the top five in the 2014 survey.

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 Banks for four successive years, Commercial Bank operates a network of 237 computer-linked service points and the country’s single largest ATM network of 599 terminals. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank has been adjudged ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 16 consecutive years by ‘Global Finance’ Magazine and has won multiple awards as the country’s best Bank from ‘The Banker’, ‘Finance Asia’, ‘Euromoney’ and ‘Trade Finance’ magazines.



The Marawila Branch of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently organised a seminar in Marawila for nearly 500 students preparing for the Year 5 scholarship examination from eight schools in the area. This seminar was organised under the aegis of the Bank’s ‘Arunalu’ Children’s Savings Account for the third consecutive yearand was conducted by an award winning teacher in the area. The entire Year 5 school syllabus was discussed using PowerPoint and video presentations. Pictured here is the seminar in progress.



Recognised for conducting 275 CSR projects within 3 years

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has won double honours for its commitment to the community from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Asia Council, which has presented Sri Lanka’s largest private bank with two prestigious international awards.

The Bank received the award for ‘Support and Improvement in quality of Education’ and a Merit Certificate for ‘Concern for Health’ at the 4th Asia’s Best CSR Practices Awards at Pan Pacific, Singapore, on Friday, 1st August 2014, attended by a prestigious gathering of business leaders, Chief Marketing Officers and Human Resource professionals.

Preceded by the World Brand Congress at the same location, the Best CSR Practices Awards are Asia’s highest recognition of corporate organisations that have a significant and positive impact on the lives of people around them.

The awards presented to Commercial Bank recognise the tangible impact the Bank’s multifaceted community initiatives have had in the spheres of education and health in Sri Lanka. These include the Bank’s nationally-scaled programme of donating computer laboratories to schools, a project to supplement English language classes in rural schools, the annual presentation of scholarships and laptops to undergraduates and the donation of medical equipment to hospitals around the country.

The Bank’s IT Education initiative is intended to enable younger generations and the country to face the future with confidence with world-class knowledge. This programme shares synergy with the Bank’s enduring vision of being the most technologically-advanced, innovative and customer friendly financial services organisation in Sri Lanka. By the first half of 2014, the 140 IT Labs donated by the Bank had benefitted an estimated 140,000 children.

All computer laboratories donated by Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust are equipped with brand new computers with licensed software. The schools are also provided accessories such as computer tables, printers and chairs, and the Bank provides assistance to maintain and upgrade these computer labs when necessary to ensure that the facilities benefit many batches of students.

Significantly enhancing the value of these IT Labs, the Bank recently launched an innovative online education programme under which more than 20,000 children from 20 schools are now accessing carefully selected mathematics and science lessons via a specially created web platform, to supplement their regular lessons in these subjects.

Commercial Bank CSR Trust gifts necessary critical care equipment and other infrastructure facilities to government hospitals in the country. The emphasis is on maternity and children’s hospitals when making such donations.

Among other community commitments of Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust are assistance to war heroes, and support for projects to promote and conserve the country’s cultural heritage.

These initiatives have already won Commercial Bank several local and international awards, including four awards at the 2013 Best Corporate Citizen awards presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, at which the Bank was also adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens. Earlier this year, the Bank received the Gold and Silver awards for its corporate social responsibility initiatives in Education and Healthcare respectively at the JASTECA CSR Awards presented by the Japan Sri Lanka Technical & Cultural Association. The Commercial Bank CSR Trust also won the prestigious Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award (AREA) in the sphere of ‘Social Empowerment’ at the 2014 awards held in New Delhi.

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 Banks for four successive years, Commercial Bank operates a network of 237 computer-linked service points and the country’s single largest ATM network of 597 terminals. The Bank has been adjudged ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 16 consecutive years by ‘Global Finance’ Magazine and has won multiple awards as the country’s best Bank from ‘The Banker’, ‘Finance Asia’, ‘Euromoney’ and ‘Trade Finance’ magazines.

Photo caption:
Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager – Marketing Mr Hasrath Munasinghe receives one of the awards at the CMO Asia Best CSR Practices Awards in Singapore



The Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently extended its support to another 200 entrepreneurs of the Northern Province by providing them with valuable information on developing their businesses, at three programmes.

Two programmes in Jaffna and one in Vavuniya were conducted in collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), and covered the topic ‘Entrepreneurship Development and Financial Literacy.’

Eighty entrepreneurs who were nominated by Commercial Bank’s main branch in Jaffna participated in the first programme while 75 entrepreneurs nominated by the Kilinochchi, Atchuvely, Chavakachcheri, Nelliady, Stanley Road, Manipay, Kodikamam, Chunnakam, Thirunelvelly, Mannar and Velanai branches of the Bank participated in the second programme. Forty five entrepreneurs nominated by the Bank’s Vavuniya branch attended the programme in Vavuniya.

Mr. Sri Pathmanathan – Consultant to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was the key resource person for these programmes at which Commercial Bank’s Regional Manager – Northern Region, Senior Manager – North Central Region, respective Branch Managers and officers of the Development Credit Department represented the Bank.

The Commercial Bank has conducted similar programmes for SMEs and micro entrepreneurs in areas such as Narammala, Galle, Monaragala, Wellawaya, Badulla, Passara, Bandarawela, Welimada, Weligama, Koggala, Karapitiya, Matara, Batticaloa and Ampara in the recent past.

The Bank’s Agriculture and Micro Finance units are located in Ratnapura, Narammala, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Kilinochchi, Bandarawela, Wellawaya, Hingurakgoda, Galewela, Atchuvely, Vavuniya and Tissamaharama.

They identify and support people who need financial assistance to start new businesses or to expand existing ones, provide guidance on how to improve their businesses and help resolve difficulties.

The largest private bank in Sri Lanka and the only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed four years consecutively in the world’s top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank operates a network of 237 branches and 597 ATMs in Sri Lanka. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, and was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

Photo caption:
Two of the entrepreneurship programmes in progress.



Commercial Bank’s new Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe formally assumed duties yesterday (30th July) at the Bank’s Union Place branch, which houses the Chairman’s Office. Pictured here are the Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam (standing, extreme left) other members of the corporate management and Mr Dheerasinghe’s son, during the formalities.



For the convenience of customers, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it will keep 65 branches open for business onRamazan Festival Day(Tuesday 29th July),a Public and Bank Holiday.

This includes the Bank’s 28 Supermarket Banking Centres and 20 ‘365-day’ branches which will work their customary hours, and another 17 branches that will be open from 9 am to 1 pm on that day, the Bank said.

These 17 branches are Wellawatte, Kollupitiya, Kotahena, Maharagama, Borella, Nugegoda, Narahenpita, Battaramulla, Panchikawatte, Union Place, Wattala, Dehiwela, Kiribathgoda, Avissawella, Piliyandala, Foreign branch and Main Street (Colombo 1).

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 Banks for four successive years, Commercial Bank operates a network of 237 computer-linked service points and the country’s single largest ATM network of 597 terminals. The Bank has been adjudged ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 16 consecutive years by ‘Global Finance’ Magazine and has won multiple awards as the country’s best Bank from ‘The Banker’, ‘Finance Asia’, ‘Euromoney’ and ‘Trade Finance’ magazines.