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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.

Photo caption:

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

 

 

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.

Wins ‘Best Bank’ Country Award for 5th time in 7 years

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been adjudged the ‘Best Bank’ in Sri Lanka in 2015 by Hong Kong based ‘FinanceAsia,’ one of the most eminent financial publications in the region.

This will be the fifth ‘FinanceAsia Country Award for Achievement’ presented to Commercial Bank in the seven years since the Bank became the first entity in Sri Lanka to receive this prestigious accolade in 2009.

The full list of this year’s winners is to be published in the June issue of FinanceAsia.

“The FinanceAsia awards are decided principally on performance, and follow a stringent evaluation of key performance indicators,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “In that context, this award is a tribute of the passion, commitment and hard work of the entire Commercial Bank team, and is an important endorsement of the Bank’s strength and stability for all its customers and stakeholders.”

The FinanceAsia award is based on the respective banks’ financial performance and considers capital adequacy, liquidity and cost income ratios, pre and post-tax profits, provisions for possible losses, return on equity and network of branches, agents and correspondents. The Bank’s Total Assets, Loans and Deposits portfolio, vision and long term strategy, as well as market position versus its nearest competitor are also evaluated by FinanceAsia for the award.

The Country Award for Sri Lanka ranks Commercial Bank alongside the banking giants in the region such as HSBC and DBS, which were adjudged the best in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively. Other winners of FinanceAsia’s Best Bank awardsin 2015 include HDFC Bank – India, MCB – Pakistan, CTBC – Taiwan, Shinhan Financial – South Korea, ICBC – China, Kasikornbank – Thailand, Vietcombank – Vietnam, Bank Mandiri – Indonesia and Public Bank – Malaysia.

First published in 1996, FinanceAsia is Asia’s leading financial publishing company and the world’s foremost information source on the Asian financial markets. Published 11 times a year in Hong Kong, FinanceAsia provides readers with the latest financial trends, interviews, features and investigative reports. The company is owned by Haymarket Media Limited, the largest privately-owned publishing group in the UK.

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.

A special Savings Account designed to support micro entrepreneurs and promote financial inclusivity to this segment has been launched by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank.

Linked to this new savings account branded ‘Divisaru’ (Prosperous Life), amicro loan will extend up to 25 times an agreed value of monthly savings, up to a maximum of Rs 125,000, the Bank said.

Intended to support micro enterprises in all sectors including fishing, livestock agricultureand similar pursuits, the Divisaru account can be opened with an initial deposit of just Rs 100, and requires a minimum monthly saving of Rs 1,000 to qualify for a loan.

Account holders will receive a specially designed Passbook and ATM Card to help identify the client segment and provide service, be eligible to open joint accounts, proprietorship orpartnership accounts and will receive an interest rate that is higher than that applicable to normal savings accounts, the Bank said.

“It is our intention to organise and build a Micro Entrepreneur customer sector that will enable the Bank to focus its attention on the specific needs of this segment, and take a holistic approach in extending services such as savings, credit, leasing, micro insurance and fund transfer facilities,” said Mr S Renganathan, Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer. “We want to support this segment as much as possible and play a role in its transition from micro to SME and then to the large business category.”

Holders of Divisaru savings accounts will also be eligible to participate in the many workshops and awareness programmes that Commercial Bank conducts periodically in all parts of the country on financial literacy, enterprise development and capacity development for micro entrepreneurs.

The Bank has conducted programmes of this nature for SMEs and micro entrepreneurs in areas such as Narammala, Galle, Monaragala, Wellawaya, Badulla, Passara, Bandarawela, Welimada, Weligama, Koggala, Karapitiya, Matara, Batticaloa, Ampara, Kurunegala,Mannar, Jaffna, Vavuniyaand Hingurakgoda in the recent past.

The Bank has established 13 Agriculture and Micro Finance Units(AMFU) to provide dedicated specialised services to the micro sector. These units identify and support people who need financial assistance for agriculture or micro businesses and provide guidance on how to improve those businesses and help resolve difficulties. The units located in Ratnapura, Narammala, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Kilinochchi, Bandarawela, Wellawaya, Hingurakgoda, Galewela, Atchuvely, Vavuniya, Tissamaharama and Kathankudydirectly assist nearly 50 Commercial Bank branches with their engagement with micro enterprises.

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 (2011-2014) 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 the magazine.

More than 750 Sri Lankans resident in Bahrain were treated to a multifaceted entertainment show sponsored by Commercial Bank recently as part of its efforts to promote its remittance services in that country. The event included a 'Rataviru Star' programme and ‘Dream Star’ M. G.Dhanushka's musical programme. The Bank also used the opportunity to meet representatives of exchange companies and prospective customers for the Bank’s Exchange House in Bahrain and to market its remittance services. Pictured here (above) is one of the entertainers at the show and (below) a section of the audience at the event.

The Commercial Bank’s on-going initiative to promote entrepreneurship development across the country by empowering micro, small and medium enterprises with the knowledge they need to grow, was recently extended to Hingurakgoda, the largest division in the Polonnaruwa District.

Organised by Commercial Bank’s Hingurakgoda branch with the assistance of the Bank’s Agriculture and Micro Finance Unit (AMFU) in Hingurakgoda, the programme benefitted 125 agri entrepreneurs of the District by providing them with valuable information on developing their ventures. It was conducted in collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), and CIC Agri Business.

Officials of the Central Bank conducted a financial literacy development programme covering fund management,the difference between formal and informal sector borrowings, how to identify legal tender notes, the Central Bank’sloan schemes and characteristics of Pyramid systems. Representatives of CIC Agri Business coveredkey aspects of effective paddy cultivation by explaining hidden secrets of modern paddy cultivation, how to reduce the cost of cultivation, how to enhance yield, new paddy varieties, effective water management and time management.

Officials of Commercial Bank used the opportunity to introduce the Bank’s new ‘Divisaru’ Micro savings account to the participants, and with assistance of the bank`s Development Credit Department, to make them aware of the salient features of the products and loan schemas available under Development lending.

Among the senior representatives of the organisations involved in conducting the programme were Messrs Saneth Jayasundara, Commercial Bank’s Regional Manager – North Central, Aruna Wijesiri, Assistant Director of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Chamila Senanayaka, Assistant General Manager, CIC Agri Business and Elmo Sooriyaarachchi Senior Manager, Commercial Bank Development Credit Department.

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, Ampara, Kurunegala, Jaffna and Vavuniya 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 for Agri/Micro businesses and provide guidance on how to improve their businesses and help resolve difficulties.

Photo Caption:
The Bank’s Hingurakgoda programme in progress.


Assets cross Rs 800 billion; Deposits reach Rs 549.1 billion; loans & receivables grow to Rs 498.5 billion

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has made a steady start to 2015, with profit after tax of Rs 2.509 billion for the three months ended 31st March, an improvement of 10.1% YoY.

A robust YoY growth in loans and receivables coupled with customary strong deposit growth and lower cost of funds contributed to this growth by generating net interest income of Rs 7.233 billion, an increase of 10.06%, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank said in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Profit before VAT and NBT for the three months reviewed was up 7.88% to Rs 4.204 billion, while profit before tax at Rs 3.579 billion reflected an improvement of 8.77%, the Bank reported.

Total operating income, comprised of net interest income, commissions, foreign exchange income, recoveries and other income, increased by 8.84% to Rs 9.682 billion.

Total loans & receivables amounted to Rs 498.552 billion as at 31st March 2015, a growth of 19.13 per cent over 12 months. Total deposits grew by an average of more than Rs 6 billion a month since 31st December 2014 to reach Rs 549.111 billion at the end of the quarter reviewed. Deposit growth over the preceding 12 months was 16.28%.

Commenting on these results, Commercial Bank Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe said: “Commercial Bank’s performance in the first quarter is consistent with projections and reflects the inherent strengths of the Bank. There are several challenges that are common to most players in the banking sector, and in that context, the Bank’s figures are impressive.”

Commercial Bank Managing Director Mr Jegan Durairatnam said that the Bank was able to report a commendable growth in profits despite shrinking interest margins witnessed during the period under review.

Total assets of the Bank crossed the Rs 800 billion mark during the review period and stood at Rs 807.852 billion at the end of Q1.

Total expenses, including personnel costs, depreciation & amortisation and other expenses increased by 7.82% to Rs 4.148 billion.

In other key performance indicators, Commercial Bank improved its gross and net non-performing loans (NPL) ratios to 3.40% and 1.88% respectively from 4.40% and 2.54% a year previously. Interest margins continued to drop and stood at 3.66% as at 31st March 2015.The Bank’s Tier I capital adequacy ratio reduced from 12.93% to 12.14%, while total capital adequacy for the reviewed quarter reduced to 15.03% from 15.97%. These ratios however remain well above statutory requirements.

The Bank retained its position as the bank with the highest market capitalisation in Sri Lanka and the third largest listed entity overall in the period reviewed.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years (2011-2014), Commercial Bank operates a network of 242 branches and 610 ATMs in Sri Lanka. 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 and 2014. 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.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently concluded a successful engagement with the customers and potential customers of Batticaloa via a ten-day promotional programme conducted by Varnam TV. As one of the sponsors of the programme, the Bank actively participated in a series of joint promotional activities,visited about 1,500 homes to create awareness about its products and services, and supported a special workshop for women on the final day of the programme. Pictured here is one of the interactions between representatives of the Bank and residents of Batticaloa.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has contributed towards an initiative of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for disaster relief work in Nepal by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (APADM), a regional grouping of which the Chamber is a member. The APADM, which has also supported Sri Lanka during times of natural disaster, has already despatched a rescue team and established a Field Hospital in Kathmandu. Pictured here at the presentation of a cheque by Commercial Bank are (from left) Messrs JeevanPerera and Mahesh Rathnayake and Mrs PriyanthiPerera representing Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust, and MessrsMangalaP.B. Yapa – Secretary General/CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, ChandrarathnaVithanage – Senior Assistant Secretary General, MrsAyoniWaniganayake – Senior Assistant Secretary General and MrsAlikiePerera – Deputy Secretary General of the Chamber.