Commercial Bank supports ‘Construct 2015’ as Official Banker

Commercial Bank at Construct Exhibition

Commercial Bank supported Sri Lanka’s construction sector as Official Banker to ‘Construct 2015’ one of the largest construction sector exhibitions in the South Asian region.

Organised annually by the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL), Construct 2015 took place for the 15th consecutive year on the 28th, 29th and 30th of August at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre of the BMICH.

His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest at the inauguration of the event.

The Bank offered a range of its products to the construction industry and exhibition participants and its stall was a huge success. Among the products offered were housing loans, personal loans, leases, credit cards and online and mobile banking facilities. The Bank had also successfully negotiated with construction sector vendors to secure a series of discounts for the Bank’s customers.

Pictured here is His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena having a discussion with Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe, Chairman of Commercial Bank during his visit to the Bank’s stall at Construct 2015.

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Commercial Bank rated Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka for 11th consecutive year

Ranked No 1 overall for Honesty for 3rd year running

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been rated the most respected bank in Sri Lanka for the 11th consecutive year and the second ‘Most Respected’ corporate entity in the country overall for the fifth successive year in the 2015 LMD rankings of the Most Respected Entities in Sri Lanka.

The Bank has also been ranked No 1 in Sri Lanka for ‘Honesty’ for the third consecutive year, No 1 in Financial Performance and in the top five in several other areas of evaluation.

The only bank among the top five Most Respected entities in Sri Lanka in 2015, Commercial Bank has been ranked second overall in Management Profile, third overall in Quality Consciousness, fourth overall in Innovation, Corporate Culture and Vision and fifth among all entities in Dynamism and CSR.

The Bank has been the Most Respected bank in this prestigious ranking since its inception in 2005.

The latest edition LMD ranking of Sri Lanka’s most respected companies includes the largest and most diversified conglomerates in the country and some of the world’s best-known multinationals.

“We are pleased to note that the Bank has increased the number of aspects in which it is ranked among the top five corporate entities in Sri Lanka in 2015,” Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr JeganDurairatnam said. “Of these, our consistent ranking of No 1 for Honesty, and leading the entire list for Financial Performance are the most significant, but we are also delighted to be ranked among the best in Sri Lanka in the other areas.”

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 nine of these 10 areas, the Bank was placed within the top five in the 2015 survey.

Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 615 ATMs in Sri Lanka and is the country’s largest private bank. The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for five consecutive years and ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia and Euromoney in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014.

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Withdraw eZ Cash at Selected Commercial Bank ATMs Island Wide

Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, has opened up 40 selected ATMs island wide to the eZ Cash mobile money network, enabling mobile wallet holders to withdraw money at any time. The service will be extended to all ATMs of Commercial Bank in the near future.

Commercial Bank operates the country’s single largest ATM network and the largest online 24-hour cash dispensing system in the country. With this facility, eZ Cash account holders can withdraw cash from their mobile wallets at any Commercial Bank card-less ATMs, to a minimum value of Rs. 100 rupees and a maximum of Rs. 5,000 in a single transaction.

Through this partnership between Commercial Bank and eZ Cash, the bank has also enabled a facility for its Mobile Banking customers with eZ Cash accounts to top up their mobile wallets via an online portal. Commercial Bank customers can simply dial #8823# from their Dialog, Etisalat or Hutch mobiles, and follow the simple instructions that appear on the screen or the online service can also be accessed by visiting Commercial Bank's client login home page on the website after registering.

The agreement between Commercial Bank and eZ Cash will offer convenient banking to a wide spectrum of the population who are not operating bank accounts.

"The strategic partnership with Commercial Bank of Ceylon lays testimony to our promise of delivering convenience and greater flexibility to the 2 million-plus registered users of the eZ Cash mobile money service, where even the non-banked eZ Cash customers can withdraw cash from these ATM’s," Fariq Cader, Vice President-Digital Servicesat Dialog Axiata PLC said. "Partnerships like this demonstrate how we are at the heart of accelerating convergence between the offline and online segments for commerce, and extend to many more segments in time to come."

Commenting on the partnership, Hasrath Munasinghe Deputy General Manager- Marketing of Commercial Bank said, “We are always looking at ways to provide convenience to our customers and this partnership will facilitate utmost convenience to both customers and non customers”.

Subscribers to eZ Cash can easily send and receive money with any Etisalat, Hutch and Dialog users anytime, anywhere, and carry out utility and institutional payments,with the pioneering Mobile Money service available to 14 million mobile subscribers, which is 60 percent of the mobile penetration of Sri Lanka.

In June 2012 eZ Cash became Sri Lanka’s first mobile money service following being awarded a license under the aegis of the Payments and Settlements Act No 28 of 2005.

A registered eZ Cash subscriber can then load money in to his/her mobile phone at any one of nearly 20,000 eZ Cash points/merchants across Sri Lanka. Loading money would also be made possible at bank branches and Internet and Phone Banking services of Sri Lanka’s leading banking institutions. Sending and receiving money between eZ Cash accounts as well as making payments for goods, services and utilities and for the purchase of items over the Internet, is then as simple as sending an SMS with the aid of an user-friendly and tri-lingual menu on the mobile phone.

About eZ Cash

Sri Lanka’s pioneering mobile money service was launched in June 2012 by Dialog Axiata, enabling subscribers to send and receive money directly via mobile, plus, conduct utility and institutional payments. With the advent of Etisalat and Hutch on to the network, eZ Cash has grown to a subscriber base of two million Sri Lankans with over 16,000 agent locations and merchant points island wide. eZ Cash is the winner of the Global Mobile Award for Best Mobile Money Service at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2015. eZ Cash became Sri Lanka’s first mobile money service following being awarded a license under the aegis of the Payments and Settlements Act No 28 of 2005.

About Commercial Bank

The only Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the top 1,000 banks of the world for the past five years, and ranked the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015, Commercial Bank is the winner of multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014.It has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD, a leading business magazine, for the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

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Commercial Bank picks up pace with 15% increase in 1H post-tax profit

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Pre-tax profit increases to Rs. 7.443 billion, Deposits reach Rs 569 billion, loan book grows to    Rs 512 billion; total assets stand at Rs 814 billion

 

Strong second quarter growth in fund based operations has enhanced the half year performance of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, enabling Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank to post profit before tax of Rs 7.443 billion for the six months ending 30th June 2015, an increase of 14.97% over the corresponding six months of the previous year.

Profit after tax grew by a noteworthy 15.38% to Rs 5.168 billion on gross income of Rs 37.017 billion, the Bank said in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

Figures for the second quarter (April – June 2015) reflect robust year-on-year (YoY) growth, with profit before tax for the three months up 21.37% to Rs 3.864 billion, and profit after tax growing 20.85% to Rs 2.659 billion, the Bank said.

Total interest income for the six months ended 30th June 2015 improved by 2.59% to Rs 31.788 billion, and with interest expenses reducing by 1.62% to Rs 17.021 billion in the review period, the Bank increased its net interest income to Rs 14.768 billion, a growth of 7.91%. Net interest income in the second quarter amounted to Rs 7.535 billion, an improvement of 5.92% over 2Q 2014.

The Bank’s loan book net of provisions grew by Rs 14.499 billion over the six months to Rs 512.116 billion, and by Rs 73.906 billion or 16.87% over the preceding 12 months.

Deposits from customers increased by an even more impressive Rs 39.721 billion or 7.5% since December 2014 to Rs 569.082 billion, averaging Rs 6.6 billion per month during the period reviewed. Deposit growth over the preceding 12 months was Rs 81.483 billion or 16.71%.

Total assets grew by Rs 18.231 billion over the six months reviewed to Rs 813.841 billion as at 30th June 2015. Asset growth over the preceding 12 month period was Rs 130.261 billion or 19.06%.

“Commercial Bank continues to be one of the strongest mobilisers of savings in Sri Lanka and one of the country’s biggest lenders,” the Bank’s Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe commented. “The volumes achieved in the first half of 2015, supported by solid fee-based operations are responsible for the significantly improved performance reflected by these figures.”

Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam added:“Given the progressively reducing interest margins witnessed over several quarters and the appreciation of the Rupee in the review period, the Bank’s performance becomes particularly noteworthy and is a reflection of the resilience that comes from strong management and a large base.”

Commercial Bank’s other income comprising exchange profit, commission income, recoveries and investment income improved by 5.11% to Rs 4.798 billion in the six months under review, while total impairment charges decreased by 12.83% to Rs 2.648 billion.

Net operating income at Rs 16.918 billion for the six months reflected a growth of 11.21% while total expenses increased by 7.25% to Rs 8.179 billion, the Bank reported.

In other key performance indicators, Commercial Bank improved its gross and net non-performing loans (NPL) ratios to 3.15% and 1.70% respectively from 3.47% and 1.86% as at 31st December 2014, despite interest margins narrowing to 3.70% during the six months reviewed from 3.88% as at December 2014.

The Bank’s Tier I and total capital adequacy ratios as at end June 2015 stood at 12.70% and 15.45% respectively despite the growth in Risk Weighted Assets during the review period. These ratios are well above minimum statutory requirements.

The Bank had a strong liquidity position during the review period, and as at 30th June 2015 its Domestic Banking Unit had a liquid assets ratio of 27.75% while its Offshore Banking Unit’s liquid assets ratio stood at 50.37%. The minimum statutory liquid assets ratio prescribed by the Central Bank for banks is 20%.

At Group level, Commercial Bank, its subsidiaries and associates reported a profit before tax of Rs 7.493 billion for the six months, an improvement of 14.54%, and profit after tax of Rs 5.184 billion, an increase of 14.69%.

One of the highlights of the period reviewed was the opening of a Representative Office of the Commercial Bank in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar. The Bank also launched the first ever Green Banking Channel (GBC) counter at one of its branches as a part of the Bank's sustainability initiatives.

Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 615 ATMs in Sri Lanka and is the country’s largest private bank. The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for five consecutive years and ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia and Euromoney in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

 

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Commercial Bank’s ‘Dine and Smile’ promo back with 58 restaurants

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Credit and Debit Cardholders to receive 30% and 20% discounts when dining out till 10th October

 

The Commercial Bank has announced a second ‘Dine and Smile’ dining out promotion for 2015, offering the Bank’s Credit and Debit Cardholders attractive discounts at 58 leading restaurants over eight weeks.

Participating restaurants include 22 restaurants within some of Sri Lanka’s leading hotels and 36 other popular restaurants, which are offering discounts of 30% and 20% respectively to the Bank’s Credit and Debit Cardholders. The promotion commenced on 10th August and ends on 10th October, the Bank said.

The participating restaurants are Main Restaurant of Club Bentota,Far Pavilion Restaurant (Earl’s Regency); California Grill, Coffee Shop, Flavors and Sheherzade at Galadari Hotel; Buzz Restaurant at The Gateway Hotel; The Waves Main Restaurant at The Sands, Kalutara; The Sands Restaurant, Black Coral and The Deck of Jetwing Beach; The Kitchen, Center Point and Café J at Jetwing Blue; Geoffrey’s Pavilion and Blue Lagoon at Jetwing Lagoon; Cinnamon Room and Cardamom Café at Jetwing Lighthouse; Café C and Lellama at Jetwing Sea; Old Course Restaurant of Jetwing St. Andrew’s;The Dining Room at JetwingYala; as well as Amrith Masala Talk, Bars,CaffeMichaelanjelo, China Doll, Fits Margosa Jaffna, Jack Tree, Jade Restaurant, King Coconut, Kinnaree, Loon Tao, Maharaja Palace, Mitsis, Oak-Ray Regency, Poppy Hana Japanese Restaurant,Raja Bojun, Red Snapper,Scarlet Room of Colombo Court Yard,Semondu, Senani Restaurant Kandy, Siam House, Street 360, Sunshine, TGI Fridays, four restaurants of Waters Edge (Board Walk, Falsetto by Voice, Ginza at the Edge and The Bakery) The Mango Tree, Tilko Jaffna, Tsing Tao,TsukijiUoichi and Urban Kitchen.

These discounts will significantly enhance the benefits already offered by Comdeals, a programme which provides value addition to Commercial Bank cardholders through discounts at a number of major retail outlets in the country and 0% easy payment schemes for Credit cardholders. Commercial Bank cardholders are also eligible to participate in global promotions carried out by Visa and MasterCard.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for five consecutive years, Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 615 ATMs in Sri Lanka and is the country’s largest private bank. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia and Euromoney in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

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Commercial Bank Balangoda branch moves to new eco-friendly building

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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has developed a new eco-friendly model for branches in buildings owned by the Bank, in yet another initiative to align its operations with the needs of the planet.

The first of these new energy efficient branches became operational recently when the Bank moved its Balangoda Branch to new Bank-owned premises at No. 195, Ratnapura Road, Balangoda on Monday 3rd August, 2015.

The two-storied custom-built building has an eco-friendly architectural design with energy efficient ‘passive features’ such as renewable energy from solar panels and walls with more glazed windows and fixed glass panels for maximum utilisation of natural light,as well as heat gain arresting devices such as shades and fins that facilitate power saving.

The Bank said the new Balangoda branch is an example of on-going efforts to promote Green Banking, as part of Commercial Bank’s commitment to the Triple Bottom Line, and that the model would be replicated elsewhere as the Bank progressively moves its branches into owned buildings.

The relocated Balangoda Branch was formally declared open by Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO
Mr Jegan Durairatnam in the presence of Bank’s valued customers of Balangoda, dignitaries from the area, representatives of the corporate management and other senior officials of the Bank.

The spacious new branch is equipped with three ATMs and has ample space for customer parking.

Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 615 ATMs in Sri Lanka and is the country’s largest private bank. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia and Euromoney in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. The Bank 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

 

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(Above) The new eco-friendly Balangoda branch of Commercial Bank and (Below) the formal opening of the branch by the Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam.

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Commercial Bank launches low cost insurance for micro borrowers

A low cost insurance scheme that will protect micro borrowers has been launched by Commercial Bank of Ceylon in association with two insurance companies,Ceylinco Insurance and BIMA.

The policy will cover the borrowers against accidental death or permanent disability, compensate for loss of income due to hospitalisation and also contribute towards funeral expenses.

Monthly premiums of Rs 150, Rs 300 and Rs 600 respectively for the Silver, Gold and Platinum categories of the scheme provide accident cover of Rs 1 million, Rs 2 million and Rs 4 million, with life cover of Rs 50,000, Rs 100,000 and Rs 150,000, the Bank said.

“This scheme is yet another example of our commitment to the wellbeing and protection of our customers in the micro enterprise segment,” Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager(Personal Banking) Mr Chandana Gunasekera said. “Today’s micro borrowers can be small or medium enterprises in just a few years with the right support, and Commercial Bank is committed to provide that support.”

The issuing of insurance cover will be done by Ceylinco Insurance PLC and Melvik Lanka (branded as BIMA), a mobile insurance provider that will handle the sales, technical implementation and claims administration. Depending on the demand for the product, the Bank said it may locate representatives of BIMA at branches where the potential is high.

Policyholders will be entitled to daily payments ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 for every day spent at a hospital up to a maximum of 20 days to cover their loss of income due to an illness or accident under this scheme.

In the event of accidental death of a policyholder, payments of Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000 will be made towards funeral expenses, and the insurance proceeds may be utilized to settle the outstanding loan.

Commercial Bank already has a large micro saver/borrower client base served by its existing Bancassurance facility. The new scheme is an extension of these services, the Bank said.

Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 613 ATMs in Sri Lanka and is the country’s largest private bank. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia and Euromoney in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

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Pictured here are Mr Max Bergman, Director of Milvik Lanka (centre) flanked by Mr Roshan Ranasinghe, General Manager of Ceylinco Insurance (left) and Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager Personal Banking Mr Chandana Gunasekera (right) at the signing of the agreement.

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Commercial Bank is Euromoney’s Best Bank in Sri Lanka in 2015

Euromoney, widely considered one of the world’s leading financial magazines, has adjudged Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC the Best Bank in Sri Lanka in 2015 at the magazine’s Asia Awards for Excellence presented recently in Hong Kong.

This is the second major international award presented to Commercial Bank in the past two months, during which the Bank also had the distinction of becoming the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for five consecutive years.

The prestigious Euromoney accolade is based on detailed submissions from market participants and extensive year-round research into the banking and capital markets in the region by the magazine’s editors, journalists and research team.

According to Euromoney, the Asia Awards are seen as the benchmark for the leading firms in financial services in the region, and are fiercely contested across numerous markets and categories.

Country awards in the larger markets in Asia-Pacific included the award for Best Bank in Australia which went to Suncorp; Best Bank in China to ICBC; Best Bank in India to Kotak Mahindra Bank and Best Bank in Singapore to OCBC. Elsewhere, the Best Bank in Hong Kong went to HSBC, Best Bank in Indonesia to Bank Central Asia, Best Bank in Malaysia to Public Bank and Best Bank in New Zealand to ANZ.

“We are further strengthened with this very credible award, which is based on evaluation criteria applied to banks across global markets and regions,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “We are grateful to the millions of Commercial Bank customers whose patronage has made this award possible, and to the entire team whose passion and commitment keep the Bank in the vanguard of the industry.”

The evaluation by Euromoney covers banks in all major countries in Asia, Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and Latin America, the Caribbean as well as the Nordic and Baltic regions. Euromoney honours institutions that demonstrate leadership, innovation and momentum in the markets in which they excel and presents a number of awards to the Asian region’s banks and securities houses.
Among the aspects examined for the awards are qualitative and quantitative criteria such as market position, volume of business transacted, new product development, management system, credit ratings, efficiency ratios and annual key performance indicators.

In the year reviewed for the award, Commercial Bank reported profit before tax of Rs 15.7 billion, a loan book of Rs 463.6 billion, deposits of Rs 529.4 billion, gross income of Rs 74.4 billion, assets of Rs 795.6 billion and Tier I Capital Adequacy Ratio of 12.93%.

The award for the Best Bank in Sri Lanka in 2015 was accepted by Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer/ Executive Director Mr S Renganathan at the presentation ceremony at Island Shangri La, Hotel Hong Kong. Leading figures from banking and capital markets across Asia were present to hear the announcement of Euromoney’s Asia Awards for Excellence 2015.

Founded by Sir Patrick Sergeant in 1969, Euromoney is read by 140,000 of the world’s top financial decision makers in more than 100 countries, making it the prime magazine of the wholesale financial world, its institutions and its users.

Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 613 ATMs in Sri Lanka. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

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Commercial Bank's Chief Operating Officer/Executive Director Mr S. Renganathan (centre) with Tony Shale, CEO Asia of Euromoney (left) and Clive Horwood, Editor of the magazine at the awards presentation in Hong Kong.

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Commercial Bank rated the strongest Bank in Sri Lanka by Fitch

The National Long-Term Rating of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has been affirmed at 'AA(lka); Stable Outlook' by Fitch Ratings Lanka (FRL).

Commercial Bank’s Basel II compliant outstanding subordinated debentures have been affirmed by Fitch at 'AA-(lka)'.

In a recent report, the agency said: “Fitch considers Commercial Bank as the strongest bank in this peer group. Its rating captures its more measured risk appetite, solid franchise, sound track record, and strong funding profile. The bank's provision coverage has been improving and asset quality has remained satisfactory. The ratings reflect our expectation that its operations in Bangladesh will remain small.”

“Sustained improvements in Commercial Bank's asset quality and enhanced resilience against a volatile operating environment could be positive for the rating,” Fitch said.

The agency saidthe ratings could be downgraded if the Bank’s ability to withstand cyclical asset quality deterioration declines due to lower earnings and capitalisation. “In addition, any marked weakening in its deposit franchise and a deviation from its measured risk appetite, both viewed by Fitch as key factors that differentiate Commercial from its lower-rated peers, would be negative,” Fitch said.

Commenting on the latest Fitch rating, Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said: “We are pleased to be rated ‘AA’ by Fitch and to be acknowledged as the strongest bank among our peers. This speaks volumes of the capital strength, consistent performance, dedication to quality and long term vision of the Bank.Independent of Fitch, our operation in Bangladesh has also received the highest rating of ‘AAA’ given to financial institutions in that country, and this will further strengthen investor confidence.”

Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 613 ATMs in Sri Lanka and is the country’s largest private bank. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

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Commercial Bank completes landscaping of National Hospital gardens

A project by the Corporate Social Responsibility Trust of Commercial Bank to landscape one and a half acres of the gardens of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) Colombo has been completed. Officials of the two institutions jointly inspected the completed work recently, and the NHSL presented a token of appreciation to the Bank for its contribution. Pictured  here (above) is the inspection of a section of the NHSL garden landscaped with  funding from the Commercial Bank, and (below) the presentation of the plaque by  NHSL Director Dr Anil Jasinghe (second right) to Commercial Bank’s Deputy  General Manager – Marketing Mr Hasrath Munasinghe.

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Award-winning drama ‘Kadulla’ re-presented to television viewers by Commercial Bank

Kadulla, the evocative teledrama that explored the societal changes that took place in mid twentieth century Ceylon, is back on the small screen for a new generation of television audiencesevery Sunday at 8.30 pm on Rupavahini sponsored by Commercial Bank, and will run till November 2015. Tilak Jayaratne’s monumental screen play was first broadcast as a radio play and was filmed for television under the masterly direction of Dharmasena Pathiraja, one of the most prolific and recognised film directors and screenwriters of Sri Lanka who directed many award winning films, documentaries and teledramas. Kadulla addresses the emergence of the affluent elite that governed the country after Independence in 1948, and the social upheavals that followed.

The teledrama stars several icons of the Sinhala acting fraternity, including Jackson Anthony, Vasanthi Chathurani, Mahendra Perera, Lakshman Mendis, Cletus Mendis, Priya Ranasinghe, Yashoda Wimaladharma and Peter de Almeida. Theepic drama has won multiple awards including nine UND Aawards including Best TV Feature, Best Director, Best Script and Best Male and Female Performances in 1992.

As part of its commitment to the development of local skills in film making by supporting high quality productions of this nature, Commercial Bank of Ceylon funded the production of Kadulla which was originally telecast over Rupavahini in 1992.This 21 episode teledrama is considered an epic benchmark in local television production, and received rave reviews when it was first aired.

 

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Commercial Bank Bangladesh receives highest rating of AAA for 5th consecutive year

The AAA (Triple A) long-term credit rating accorded to the Bangladesh operations of Commercial Bank PLC has been reaffirmed by Credit Rating Information and Services Ltd (CRISL) for the fifth consecutive year.

Triple A is the highest credit rating given to any financial institution in Bangladesh by CRISL.

The ratingis based on the financial performanceofCommercial Bank up to December 31, 2014and other qualitative and quantitative informationrelevantto the rating. This includes the bank’s continuous maintenance of strong fundamentals in the area of capital adequacy, asset quality, financial and operating efficiency and risk management.

Commercial Bank’s Bangladesh operations, now comprising of 18 service points and 19 ATMs,were upgraded from AA +(Double A Plus) to AAA in July 2011. This rating has remained unchanged since.Commercial Bank is the third largest foreign bank in Bangladesh.

Banks in the triple Acategory are adjudged to be of best quality, offer highest safety and have highest credit quality. Risk factors are negligible and risk free, nearest to risk-free Government bonds and securities. Changing economic circumstances are unlikely to have any serious impact on this category of banks.

“The success of our Bangladesh operation is a great source of inspiration, confidence and encouragement to us,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO MrJeganDurairatnam said. “Commercial Bank Bangladesh has won numerous awards in that country, and has been a solid representation of the values and strengths of the parent bank. We have now ventured into Myanmar, and our experience in Bangladesh will be of value to the Myanmar team.”

For the purpose of the rating, CRISL has evaluated the financial performance of the Commercial Bank in terms of Return on Average Assets (ROAA), Return on Average Equity (ROAE) and Net Interest Margin (NIM). At end 2014, the net profit before tax and provisions of Commercial Bank Bangladesh stood at TK. 1,631millionwhile net profit after taxwas TK.947million.

Commercial Bank entered Bangladesh in July 2003 with the acquisition of the Bangladesh operations of Credit Agricole Indosuez (CAI), its first ever acquisition of a banking operation. The Bank has been honoured withthe 'Best Corporate Performance’ Awardunder the Foreign Bank category for the past six years consecutivelyin Bangladesh by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB).

In Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 613 ATMs and is the country’s largest private bank. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMDfor the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

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Commercial Bank in World’s Top 1000 Banks for 5th successive year

 

Becomes only Sri Lankan bank to achieve this feat

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has once again been ranked among the Top 1000 Banks of the World, in the prestigious rankings published annually by ‘The Banker’ magazine of the UK, becoming the only Sri Lankan bank to achieve this feat five years in a row.

The ranking is based on the Bank’s key performance indicators for FY 2014. Commercial Bank has moved up 39 places in the 2015 rankings.

The Top 1000 Banks of the World are ranked on the basis of Tier I capital, assets, capital assets ratio, pre-tax profits, return on capital, return on assets, BIS (Basel) Capital ratio, NPL to total loans, loans to assets ratio, risk weighted assets (RWA) to total assets (TA) ratio and cost income ratio.

The Top 1000 World Banks ranking is compiled from a database of over 5,000 of the world’s biggest banks and is acknowledged by the global financial community as the definitive guide to bank rankings and analysis.Begun in 1970, the ranking is widely used all year round by senior bankers, corporate treasurers, corporate financiers, the professional services community and many others in their day to day decisions relating to banking.

“Commercial Bank has always emphasised the importance of consistency in performance. We are therefore delighted to be the only Sri Lankan bank to make the Top 1000 rankings for five years consecutively,” said Mr Jegan Durairatnam, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank. “The conditions we operate in are challenging and changeable, so achieving KPIs that are on par with other leading international banks, reflects well on the strength and stability of the Bank.”

The top three positions in the 2015 ranking of the World’s Top 1000 Banks remain unchanged from the previous year, with ICBC (China), China Construction Bank and JP Morgan Chase & Co. (USA) ranked first, second and third respectively. Four of the top 10 banks are from China, four are from the USA, while the UK and Japan have one each in the top 10.

The Banker is published by Financial Times Business, which is the specialist publishing and conferences arm of the FT Group.

In the year reviewed for the 2015 rankings,Commercial Bank reported profit before tax of Rs 15.7 billion, a loan book of Rs 463.6 billion, deposits of Rs 529.4 billion, gross income of Rs 74.4 billion, assets of Rs 795.6 billion and Tier I Capital Adequacy Ratio of 12.93%.

Commercial Bank operates a network of 243 branches and 613 ATMs in Sri Lanka. Ranked the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014, the Bank was adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015. Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from other international publications over several years. The Bank was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014, and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMDfor the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

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‘Double your money,’ Commercial Bank invites remittance recipients

Sri Lankans receiving remittances from overseas over the next two months can double their money,when they collect remittances from the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, the country’s largest private bank.

The Bank has announced that it will pay out a million rupees in its ‘Double the Value You Receive’ promotion, to users of Commercial Bank ‘e-Exchange’ – the Bank’s sophisticated real-time on-line money transfer service, as well as to those who use MoneyGram, Ria or Express Money remittance services.

Recipients of remittances up to 31st August 2015 will go into a computer-conducted draw to select winners of this promotion, the Bank said. The maximum prize money to a single beneficiary will be Rs 50,000, and winners whose remittance values are Rs 50,000 or below, will double their money.

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. Remitters can send money even without having an account in the Bank. Commercial Bank has its own Business Promotion Officers (BPOs) in key markets around the world where significant numbers of Sri Lankans are employed.

The Bank’s own e-Exchange platform is a highly secure, low cost money transfer facility which is available to remitters via a network of agents in over 50 countries. Recipients of remittances can collect proceeds from any of the Bank’s 243 branches in Sri Lanka, more than 60 of which are open even on bank holidays, and access their funds through its network of 613 ATMs, which is the largest cash-dispensing system owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank has also provided a facility to track the status of the e Exchange remittance online and the recipient receives a SMS alert once the remittance is received by the system.

MoneyGram is a global funds transfer service that operates an international network of approximately 256,000 agent locations, enabling people to conveniently and reliably send cash to recipients in approximately 192 countries and territories. Commercial Bank is one of the preferred MoneyGram agent networks in Sri Lanka for collection of remittances.

Ria Financial Services, the third largest money transfer company in the world, offers 140,000 agent locations via its global network in 136 countries on six continents.

Express Money has established one of the largest remittance networks in the industry, with 170,000 agent locations in 150 countries.

“As a result of our partnership with all of these international funds transfer companies, we have covered virtually every location on the planet from which someone may wish to send funds to Sri Lanka,” said Mr Pradeep Banduwansa, Chief Manager e Banking. “This vast global network, combined with our countrywide presence and reputation makes Commercial Bank one of the most widely used banks in Sri Lanka for collection of remittances.”

The only Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the top 1,000 banks of the world for the past four years, and ranked the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015, Commercial Bank is the winner of multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014.It has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD, a leading business magazine, for the past 10 years. The Bank 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.

 

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Commercial Bank launches new paperless Green Banking facility

Commercial Bank launches new paperless Green Banking facility

Eliminates deposit slips and envelopes with online, real time cash deposit machine at Rajagiriya Branch

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has commissioned the first of a new generation of automated cash deposit terminals that completely eliminate the use of paper, in another example of the Bank’s continuing investment in Green technology and sustainable development.

Dispensing with deposit slips and envelopes, the new machine installed at the Bank’s Rajagiriya branch has a stacker that can accept and count up to 200 notes at a go, enabling customers to make deposits of up to Rs 200,000 at a time into savings or current accounts, 24 hours of the day.

The same machine may also be used to pay dues on Commercial Bank credit cards, the Bank said.

The new Green Banking Channel was formally commissioned by Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam on 30th June 2015. The Bank said it plans to commission more such machines across its branch network, to significantly reduce the use of paper in deposit transactions.

“This new machine enables our customers to join the Bank it is efforts to save trees and help the planet, while enjoying even greater convenience than before,” Commercial Bank Chief Operating Officer Mr. S Renganathan said. “With no deposit slips to fill in, their time at the terminal will be reduced even further, making for shorter or no queues.”

The machine accepts four denominations of currency notes – Rs 5000, Rs 1000, Rs 500 and Rs 100. Soiled or damaged notes, notes of other denominations or foreign currency notes will not be accepted and will be returned to the depositor via a ‘Reject Tray.’ Coins will also not be accepted.

Customers making credit card payments have the option of inserting the respective cards, or keying in the card numbers prior to placing the currency notes on the stacker.

Every deposit will be confirmed on the machine’s screen and customers will receive an electronic or printed receipt as required, acknowledging their deposits, the Bank said.

Besides its efforts to promote a paperless society by converting more customers to electronic banking systems, Commercial Bank’s environment-related initiatives include programmes to reduce the Bank’s carbon footprint through energy saving, energy optimisation and responsible fleet and vehicle management, responsible disposal and recycling of materials, responsible water consumption, the discontinuation of the use of products that emit ozone-depleting substances and protecting the bio diversity in areas where its branches are present.

In recent proactive projects to protect the environment, the Bank funded a ground-breaking initiative to replant damaged corals in the seas off Hikkaduwa, and landscaped one and a half acres of land of the National Hospital premises to minimise environment pollution and improve the mental wellbeing of the patients.

The largest private bank in the country, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has 243 branches in Sri Lanka, more than 60 of which are open even on bank holidays, and a network of 613 ATMs, which is the largest cash-dispensing system owned by a single bank in the country.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the top 1,000 banks of the world for the past four years, and ranked the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015, Commercial Bank is the winner of multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014.It has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD, a leading business magazine, for the past 10 years. The Bank 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 Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam declares open the Bank’s new Green Banking channel at the Bank’s Rajagiriya branch in the presence of senior officials of the Bank.

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Commercial Bank opens branches in Wattegama and Katugastota

Commercial Bank opens branches in Wattegama and Katugastota

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has opened two more branches in the Kandy District, enhancing its presence the Central Province and taking its island wide network to 243 branches.

The Bank’s Wattegama branch situated at 73B, Kandy Road, Wattegama, was declared open by the Bank’s Deputy General Manager - Personal Banking Mr Chandana Gunasekera. It is equipped with an ATM and offers the full range of banking services available at Commercial Bank branches around the country.

The second branch opened by the Bank is a ‘Minicom’ outlet that will operate within the Serendib Finance premises at 187, Katugastota Road, Kandy. It was ceremonially inaugurated by Commercial Bank Assistant General Manager - Plan Implementation Mr Richard Rodrigo. This outlet offers the range of facilities available at other Minicom outlets of the Bank, such as cash transactions, clearing of cheques, opening of savings accounts, fixed deposits and foreign currency accounts and handling of foreign drafts, travellers’ cheques and foreign currency.

In the picture (above) Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager - Personal Banking Mr Chandana Gunasekera accepts the first deposit at Wattegama branch and (below) the Bank’s Assistant General Manager - Plan Implementation Mr Richard Rodrigo lights the traditional oil lamp at the opening of the Katugastota Minicom.

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Commercial Bank employees celebrate Poson with ‘Pahan Gee’

Current and past employees of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon came together to celebrate Poson in a fitting manner with an evening of devotional songs. Veteran Sri Lankan vocalist Victor Ratnayake was the Chief Guest at the Bank’s ‘Pahan Gee’ programme at the Navarangahala, Colombo 7. This was the 15th such celebration organised by Commercial Bank to commemorate Poson. Pictured here are two choirs made up of employees of the Bank at the ‘Pahan Gee’ programme.

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Commercial Bank reaffirms its support for nature

Commercial Bank reaffirms its support for nature

The CSR Trust of the Commercial Bank has sponsored the publication of a book on the biodiversity and environment of Sri Lanka to encourage initiatives that increase awareness of these subjects and the importance of environment protection. Authored by naturalists/ journalists Messrs Sudath Abeysinghe and Jayantha Jayewardene of the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT), the recently-launched book contains valuable information on numerous aspects including the environment, geographical formations of Sri Lanka, its biodiversity and inheritances and the issues confronting the environment. In the picture, Messrs Sudath Abeysinghe and Jayantha Jayewardene (first and second left respectively) present the book to Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam.

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Commercial Bank begins Myanmar operations with opening of Yangon office


Says its presence will help boost bilateral trade and investment between the two countries

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon opened its representative office in Yangon on Monday, 8th June, formally launching its operations in Myanmar, initially to offer Advisory Services to Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi businesses wishing to enter that country, and to arrange Banking and Advisory facilities, funds transfer and encashment services.

Commercial Bank is the first Sri Lankan bank to be granted a licence by the Central Bank of Myanmar to operate a Representative Office in the country.

The Bank’s Representative Office, located at No 42 A, Pantra Street, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar was formally declared open by the Bank’s Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe, Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam, Acting Sri Lankan Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Hemantha Swarnathilake and other senior officials. Mr Sajeeve Piyaratne is the Manager of the Bank’s Yangon Representative Office in Myanmar.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Dheerasinghe said:“We believe that there is significant potential to increase bi-Iateral trade between Myanmar and Sri Lanka, and that there is interest among Sri Lanka's leading apparel exporters and other industries to set up operations in Myanmar.The presence of a Representative Office of Sri Lanka’s largest private bank would facilitate this process, and be mutually beneficial to the two countries.”

Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said: “We have noted that the Banking Sector in Myanmar is expanding rapidly. By opening a Representative Office, it would also be possible for Commercial Bank to build closer relationships with Myanmar banks and offer them its experience in very successfully moving from manual and mechanical systems to high-tech banking.”

Myanmar is Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s second overseas operation after Bangladesh, which the Bank entered in July 2003, with the acquisition of the Bangladesh operations of Credit Agricole Indosuez (CAI), its first ever acquisition of a banking operation. Today, Commercial Bank’s operations in Bangladesh have grown to 18 outlets, and have won numerous awards including the Financial Mirror –Robintex - Partex Business Award for ‘The Best Foreign Bank’, the Financial News Services (FNS) Business Award for the 'Best Performing Foreign Bank' in Bangladesh and the ICMAB, National Best Corporate Award.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the top 1,000 banks of the world for the past four years, and ranked the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015, Commercial Bank is the winner of multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and operates a network of 242 branches and 610 ATMs in Sri Lanka. It was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014 and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD, a leading business magazine, for the past 10 years. The Bank 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 Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe (centre) and Managing Director Mr Jegan Durairatnam (left) light the traditional oil lamp at the opening of the Bank’s Yangon Representative office in the presence of Mr Sajeeve Piyaratne, Manager of the Representative Office and Acting Sri Lankan Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Hemantha Swarnathilake.

 

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Indra Finance, a fully-owned subsidiary of Commercial Bank, re-named Serendib Finance

 

Nine months after it acquired Indra Finance Limited, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has announced the re-naming of its fully-owned subsidiary as Serendib Finance Limited.

Acquired by Commercial Bank on 1st September 2014, the Company will henceforth operate under its new name and a new corporate logo, the announcement said.

While retaining its share in the motor vehicle leasing market as well as in hire purchase, mortgage loans and consumer finance, Serendib Finance which operates 11 branches in Sri Lanka will, with the backing of the country’s largest private bank, seek to consolidate and expand its reach, the Bank said.

The acquisition of Indra Finance and the re-launch of the Company under a new name would also benefit the Bank by enabling it to further extend its leasing operations and penetrate new customer segments to enhance its strengths in leasing through its ability to offer lower priced finance options to customers who finance vehicles through Serendib Finance, Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said.

“Commercial Bank had identified leasing as an area for development as part of its strategic expansion to reach untapped market segments and business lines, and saw the potential of Indra Finance in this context,” Mr Durairatnam said. “The acquisition is therefore expected to be beneficial to both the customers and the stakeholders of the renamed Indra Finance.”

The adoption of the new name Serendib Finance is supported by a re-branding initiative which included redesigned signage at the Head Office and branches of the Company and the launch of a new logo.

With assets in excess of Rs 800 billion, Commercial Bank is the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years and has the highest market capitalisation among Sri Lankan banks. The Bank operates a network of 242 branches and 610 ATMs in Sri Lanka and has won multiple awards as the country’s best bank over several years; been adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014 and been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. Commercial Bank 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 LMD.

Indra Finance Limited 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.

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