Deposited Trust

Commercial Bank of Ceylon has put aside Rs. 25 mn to set up a social responsibility trust to foster community development projects islandwide. Sri Lanka’s most profitable privately held bank said it would contribute one percent of its post tax profits each year to feed the Trust.

For the six months ending June 30, the Commercial Bank group posted a Rs. 721.1 mn net profit as against Rs. 698.6 mn in 2003.

Banking sector analysts’ expect the group’s bottomline to touch Rs. 1.57 bn during the financial year 2004.

“We are not strangers to the concept of CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility], we’ve been involved in charitable enterprises for a long time,” says Mahendra Amarasuriya, Chairman of Commercial Bank.

Ironically, the bank’s shareholders put up a fight against the move, as they felt they and their families should be looked after first, bank officials said during a launch ceremony on Thursday.

To ensure transparency, the Trust hopes to take up suggestions made by its 130 odd branch managers, but will also consider those made by private parties.

The government’s hot favourite – the 10,000 tank project – became t