Bank of Ceylon becomes first bank in Sri Lanka to surpass Rs1 trillion advances

The Bank of Ceylon scored its third “Trillion” at the end of the year 2016. That is surpassing the Rs. One trillion mark in advances- another unique milestone in its 77-yearjourney as “the Bankers to the Nation” and becoming the first ,and up to now the only bank to pass this milestone in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s balance sheet has expanded at an impressive scale since its first “Trillion” target was achieved in 2012 by accumulating over Rs. one trillion assets in the Bank’s balance sheet ,becoming the first business entity in the country to do so. Then by 2015 the Bank fully justified the trust placed in it by the public by announcing its second “Trillion”- Rs. One Trillion deposits. The Bank of Ceylon has been striving towards these big goals whilst maintaining itself as the largest contributor to the national economy in so many different ways. “Being a state owned Bank and a key player in financial mechanism in the country every achievement of ours gets directly translated into country’s economic development. Being in line with the government initiatives towards Sri Lanka’s economic progress, we have managed a diverse lending portfolio that encompasses of almost all public and private organizationson different scales of operation and individuals from all walks of life.For the Bank it is always not the highest profit margin that matters, but always to look into sustainable growth of both the customer and the bank. Therefore, this announcement speaks of investment made in developing businesses and the people of this country. I wish to thank our customers, dedicated staff including those who have retired from the service for their contribution and all other stakeholders at this juncture.” stated the Chairman Bank of Ceylon, President’s Counsel Mr. Ronald C. Perera.

Moving onto implementing government-backed initiatives on catering to the unbanked segments in the country and building their confidence in the banking industry BOC has led many projects such as “SamataGinumak”, Branch on Wheels, “BOC Mithuru” and many other financial inclusion programs. Many of these programs looked into entrepreneur development, women and youth development.

The Bank has moved into new-age banking with its digital infused transformation that has revolutionized banking operations overall. With this transformation BOC introduced many novel features internally and as well as for the Sri Lankan Banking industry that has enabled seamless banking transactions. Reiterating its commitment to all Sri Lankans, the Bank ensured that all benefits derived from these novel initiatives will stream down to every nook and corner of the country. Currently the Bank maintains 628 branches, 689 ATMs and 123 CDM network and 15 Regional loan centers within the country. Considering the importance of customer interfaces the bank has upgraded many of its key branches with “SmartZones”- a 24-hour digital banking self-serving lobbyand even converted Thissamharama, Kekirawa and Kilinochchi, branches as “Green Branches”.

“Passing the Rs.One trillion target in advances is an overwhelming achievement. This is proof that we have improved our operational versatility and effectively managed requirements of our customers. In recent years we have managed to become the highest profit earning single business entity in the country. Our asset base now stands at an astounding Rs.1.6 Trillion and our deposit base has improved up to Rs. 1.2 Trillion. The Bank of Ceylon iseverybody’s Bank where we cater to Micro, SME, Corporates and Individual customers in the country.”Stated the General Manager Mr. D. M. Gunasekera. “We have refined our strategic goals to be more customer-centric taking into account the present convenience-driven lifestyle of customers. At the same time, we will continue to contribute to economic development projects and initiatives of the country even better.” He further added.

The Bank of Ceylon was reaffirmed as the country’s No. 1 brand for the last eight consecutive yearsby the Brand Finance Lanka.The Bank earned global recognition as one of the top 1000 banks in the world, (Country rank No.1) as listed by “The Banker Magazine” (UK) respectively in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Bank claimed its award as the only Sri Lankan brand recognized as one of Asia’s Best Brands in 2013 by the Chief Marketing Officer’s Council (CMO Council) based in Mumbai, India. Focusing on the Banks achievement, Fitch Rating Lanka reaffirmed the Bank of Ceylon at AA+(lka) which is the highest rating awarded to a local commercial bank and ICRA (lk) awarded AAA rating which is the highest credit quality rating issued by ICRA Lanka.BOC won the merit award for Annual Report 2015 under state owned enterprises category at the Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards – 2016 conducted by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka. “Asia’s Best Employer Brand” awards organized by Employer Brand Institute endorsed the BOC as one of those classed as a “Best Employer Brand” for the year 2016.TheBank of Ceylon maintains international presence with three overseas branches and a subsidiary in London. (Media Release)