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Commercial Bank’s ATMs set new records this ‘Avurudu’

Posted by GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
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on Monday, 21 April 2014
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Rs 2.05 billion dispensed on 11th April 2014; Rs 15.438 billion in first 12 days of the month

A new record was set for cash dispensed in a single day when users of the Commercial Bank’s ATM network withdrew a mammoth Rs 2.05 billion on Friday, 11th April 2014, beating the Bank’s own record set a year previously, by Rs 263 million.

The new one-day record was the peak of a record breaking 12-day period for Sri Lanka’s largest private bank, whose 585-terminal ATM network dispensed Rs 15.438 billion between the 1st and 12th of April 2014, as the country prepared to celebrate the Sinhala and Hindu New Year.

Emphasising this point, the total value of cash dispensed on the 10th and 11th of April 2014 was Rs 4.023 billion, the highest ever value dispensed by the Bank over two days.

The previous record for the highest value dispensed in a single day was Rs 1.79 billion, set on 10th April 2013. The Bank reports that the average ticket size of a withdrawal on 10th April 2014 was Rs 10,400, as against Rs 6,500 on the same day last year, an increase of 60%.

The number of transactions processed by the network on 11th April 2014 as it set the new 24-hour record was 245,000, the highest number in a day for this season. This was lower than the Bank’s single-day record of 325,000, and was attributable to the higher daily withdrawal limits offered to Cardholders, the Bank said.

During the weekend of 12th – 15th April, Commercial Bank’s ATMs dispensed Rs 2.922 billion, which is also the highest value the Bank has ever dispensed during a weekend. The previous highest value for a weekend was recorded during the weekend of 29th – 31st March '14, and the value dispensed was Rs 2.278 billion.

“What these figures reiterate is the invaluable role the Commercial Bank plays in the day to day lives of millions of people all over Sri Lanka,” said Mr. Jegan Durairatnam, the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer. “They also underline the value of the technology as well as the capacity, robustness and reliability of the our ATM network, factors that assume greater importance during peak shopping seasons such as the Sinhala and Hindu New Year and Christmas.”

The Commercial Bank ATM network is the largest automated cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in Sri Lanka. Holders of Commercial Bank’s standard ATM cum Shopping Debit Cards can withdraw up to Rs 40,000 from the Bank’s ATMs per withdrawal. 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 three years consecutively in the world’s Top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank operates a network of 235 branches in Sri Lanka. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014, the Bank has won multiple awards as the country’s best bank over several years.

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Commercial Bank partners EIB credit line

Posted by APARNA JAGODA
APARNA JAGODA
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on Wednesday, 16 April 2014
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SMEs, energy efficiency & renewable energy projects to be financed

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has entered in to an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE) projects under the EIB SME Green Energy Credit Line extended to the Government of Sri Lanka.

The minimum project size eligible for SME financing will be Rs 18 million and Rs 90 million for projects in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy categories, the Bank said. Up to 50% of the project could be considered for financing under this credit line, and beneficiaries can obtain facilities for a longer repayment period and enjoy an attractive lending rate of 8% p.a.

Construction, renovation or extension of factories or commercial buildings, procurement of machinery, and incremental working capital are the key activities eligible for financing under this credit line.

“The segments covered by this refinancing scheme are of critical importance to the national economy, and we are therefore extremely pleased to participate in the disbursement of this credit line,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Ravi Dias said. “The Bank has always been deeply committed to supporting the SME sector, and is now increasingly involved in promoting energy efficient and sustainable businesses.”

The Commercial Bank has participated in every refinance lending scheme which has been operating in the country since the inception of ‘SMI-1’ the first scheme launched in1979. The Bank has extended its support to a large number of entrepreneurs with such loans over the years to start-up new businesses and expand on-going businesses.

The Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka's Small & Medium Enterprise sector. According to a recent study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), SMEs supported by Commercial Bank loans have generated about 200,000 employment opportunities in the country.

The Bank collaborates with a large number of organisations which are specialised and engaged in offering services relating to business development and is the pioneer in conducting programmes on financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills development for SMEs in collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 Banks for three successive years, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon operates a network of 235 branches and 585 ATMs. The Bank has been adjudged ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for many 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.

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Commercial Bank supports ‘Ranaviru Sevana’ Avurudu celebrations

Posted by GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
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on Friday, 11 April 2014
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The Avurudu celebrations of ‘Ranaviru Sevana,’ the rehabilitation centre in Ragama for disabled war heroes, were supported for the fifth consecutive year by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon. The Bank was the sole sponsor of this event at which disabled soldiers enjoyed a day of fun activities engaging in traditional games.

A series of special sporting events were organised for the competitors at this celebration, which was themed ‘Gamata Avurudu.’ The level of participation and competition at these events was high, the Bank said. The Chief Guest at the celebration was the Director General of Rehabilitation Major General Mano Perera. Brigadier Indrajith Peramunugamage, Commandant Ranaviru Sevana, the Deputy Director of Rehabilitation Brigadier Franklin Rodrigo, the Commandant of the Ranaviru Resources Centre Brigadier Manjula Manatunga and Deputy Commandant of Ranaviru Sevana Colonel Saman Thilakeratne also graced the occasion.

Special invitees representing the Commercial Bank at this celebration were the Bank’s Deputy General Manager Marketing Mr Hasrath Munasinghe and Deputy General Manager Human Resources Management Mr Isuru Thilakawardhana.

Commercial Bank has also assisted other facilities in Sri Lanka for war heroes such as the ‘Abhimansala’ in Anuradhapura and ‘Mihindu Seth Medura’ in Attidiya. Pictured here are some of the activities conducted at this year’s ‘Ranaviru Sevana’ Avurudu celebrations.

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Commercial Bank ranked most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka

Posted by GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
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on Thursday, 10 April 2014
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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been ranked the third most valuable brand in Sri Lanka in the 2014 rankings compiled by Brand Finance Lanka and published in the LMD Brands Annual for the year.

Moving up two places from last year to become the highest ranked private sector brand on this prestigious list amongst all corporate brands in the country, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank has been assigned a brand value of Rs 22.32 billion through an independent analysis by Brand Finance. The Bank has been rated AAA- by Brand Finance Lanka and recorded the highest growth of 47% over 2013 among the top companies listed in the rankings.

In its overview of the latest ranking of Sri Lanka’s most valuable brands, Brand Finance notes that “Commercial Bank continues its dramatic rise in the rankings”

The financial services sector dominates the 2014 ranking, with banks accounting for Rs 148.8 billion or 42% of the collective brand value of Rs 348 billion. Five of the Top 10 most valuable brands in Sri Lanka are banks.

“We are naturally pleased to be ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka, because the strength of the relationship the brand has with its stakeholders is a key measure in brand valuation,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Ravi Dias said. “Strong brand equity translates directly to greater customer loyalty as well as acquisition of new customers. Therefore, this ranking is an important measure of the efforts of the entire Commercial Bank team.”

“By building the value of our corporate brand, the Bank is now well positioned to generate long term returns for the business by focussing on value-based marketing. This encompasses multiple aspects that enable the Bank to harness the brand’s value creation potential with tangible results,” Mr. Dias said.

He said Commercial Bank’s brand value is based on its reputation and well-established financial stability, as well as its focus on convenience, accessibility of products and services and quality of service. The Bank’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability and its affinity with the communities it serves have also contributed significantly to brand equity.

The Bank’s brand positioning is “for a better future.” A new thematic communications campaign was launched recently on ’personalised services to suit your needs’ under the brand positioning.

Amongst the products and services heavily promoted by the Bank are Children’s Savings products Isuru and Arunalu, leasing and personal loans, channels such as online banking, mobile banking, credit and debit cards and remittance services. In the last two years the bank launched two new products, Anagi Savings Accounts targeted for women and Achiever Current Account for executives and entrepreneurs. The bank also launched a mobile app for the convenience of its customers.

The Bank’s corporate brand was re-launched alongside the adoption of a new logo three years ago. This was followed by a series of initiatives country-wide to refresh the branding and visibility of branches and all touch points and activities that increased the level of direct engagement with customers at branch level. These included mega marketing activities such as a month-long Savings Fiesta, Mobile Banking Weeks, ground level activities on the Bank’s remittances-related products and services and communications campaigns to promote the corporate brand.

In the sphere of financial performance, the Commercial Bank ended FY 2013 as the most successful private bank in Sri Lanka, with gross income of Rs 73.16 billion, profit before tax of Rs 14.51 billion, profit after tax of Rs 10.445 billion and assets of Rs 606.607 billion.

Brand Finance PLC is a leading brand valuation consultancy founded in UK and has 17 offices worldwide. The organisation has been compiling Sri Lanka’s Most Valuable Brands list for over 10 years.

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed three years consecutively among the world’s Top 1,000 Banks, Commercial Bank operates a network of 235 branches and service points and a network of 585 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank has won multiple awards as the country’s best bank over several years.

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Commercial Bank celebrates 10 years of remittance operations in Kuwait

Posted by GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
GAYAN PUNCHIHEWA
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on Friday, 04 April 2014
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An uniquely Sri Lankan celebration, complete with authentic gastronomic delights and cultural performances provided a fitting backdrop when the Commercial Bank of Ceylon marked 10 years of remittance operations in the State of Kuwait recently.

Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr Jegan Durairatnam led a Bank delegation that included the Bank’s Chief Manager e-Banking and Remittances Mr Pradeep Banduwansa, and officers from the e-Banking and Marketing departments at ceremonies in Kuwait City for Sri Lankan support staff and Chairmen and General Managers of Exchange Houses.

The main felicitation event for Sri Lankan support staff and senior management of Exchange Houses took place at the five-star Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kuwait City and was attended by over 250 people. A highlight of the evening was the performance of the renowned Channa Upuli Dance troupe which enchanted the audience. Plaques of appreciation were presented by the Bank to 11 business partners who have been with the Bank for the past 10 years. The Sri Lankan Ambassador for Kuwait His Excellency C. A. H. M. Wijeratne was the Chief Guest at this event.

The Commercial Bank also partnered with the hotel and the Sri Lankan Embassy to conduct a two-day Sri Lanka Food Festival at the hotel. The participating restaurant was sold out with expatriate Sri Lankans as well as foreigners keen to taste the delicacies prepared by the strong team of Sri Lankan chefs employed at the hotel. The opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka food festival was graced by many diplomats. The Channa Upuli Dance troupe performed on both days of the food festival and received standing ovations from Kuwaiti nationals and other foreigners who were present, the Bank said.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon is one of the most active players in Sri Lanka in the field of remittances, offering customers a range of options including the Bank’s own e-Exchange platform, as well as the facility of transferring funds via Moneygram, Xpress Money and Ria Financial Services.
One of the Bank’s key strengths is its island-wide network of 235 branches, many of which remain open on public, bank and mercantile holidays, and its network of 585 ATMs, which is the largest automated cash dispensing system owned by a single bank in Sri Lanka.

Photo Caption:
(Above) Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr Jegan Durairatnam (centre) presents a plaque of appreciation to a business partner in Kuwait. The Bank’s Chief Manager e-Banking and Remittances Mr Pradeep Banduwansa is on left. (Below) the Sri Lankan Ambassador for Kuwait His Excellency C. A. H. M. Wijeratne (3rd from left), Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr Durairatnam, Mr Banduwansa and the Bank’s business partners at the lighting of the oil lamp.

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