ComBank awarded its 20th ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ title by Global Finance

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been declared Sri Lanka’s Best Bank in 2020 by the US-based Global Finance magazine, an accolade the Bank wins for the 20th time in the 27 years that Global Finance has presented awards to the world’s best banks.

Global Finance’s just-released list of the 28 Best Banks in Asia Pacific has Commercial Bank ranked alongside banking behemoths such as the Commonwealth Bank (Australia), Westpac New Zealand, ICBC (China), The Bank of East Asia (Hong Kong), and State Bank of India, which were adjudged the best banks in those countries.

Award winners are judged on both objective and subjective criteria, and selections are made by the editors of Global Finance after extensive consultations with corporate financial executives, bankers and banking consultants and analysts throughout the world. In selecting these top banks, Global Finance considered factors that ranged from the quantitative objective to the informed subjective.

Objective criteria considered encompassed multiple indicators under the headings of Key financials, Key capabilities and services offered, Geographic range, Planned significant developments, Customer service and Deployment of leading-edge technology, and included growth in assets, profitability, geographic reach, strategic relationships, new business development and innovation in products. Subjective criteria included the opinions of equity analysts, credit rating analysts, banking consultants and others involved in the industry.

Commenting on the award, Commercial Bank Managing Director Mr S. Renganathan said: “Our focus right now, is on assisting in the recovery of businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is most encouraging to see that our achievements of 2019, also in challenging conditions, have been recognised with one of the most coveted awards in the sphere of banking. Such accolades will provide further motivation to our team to maintain the high standards of the Bank even in times of adversity.”
Referring to Commercial Bank in its announcement of the Best Banks in the Asia Pacific region, Global Finance commented: “Commercial Bank of Ceylon weathered the twin challenges of higher taxation and impairment charges in 2019, plus the adverse effects of last year’s April terrorist attacks, to deliver a solid 12% ROE off the highest gross income of any Sri Lankan bank. Deposits grew a solid 5% and interest income rose 11.2% to facilitate a 7.4% rise in total operating income.”

Commercial Bank also achieved the highest profitability, highest credit rating, highest deposit base, largest lending portfolio, and the highest return on average shareholders’ funds amongst all private sector banks in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, it was the largest private sector bank in Sri Lanka in terms of assets, the bank with the highest market capitalisation and the best CASA rating in the country, and was the third largest listed entity overall in 2019.

“The banking industry is increasingly challenged by rising customer demands for safe real-time access with total control and broad flexibility,” said Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher and editorial director of Global Finance. “For 27 years, the Global Finance Best Bank Awards have helped corporate treasurers and CFOs identify the banking partners most able to deliver top-notch financial services via innovative technology.”

A full report on the Best Bank selections appeared in the May issue of Global Finance, with winners chosen in nearly 155 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe. The May report also featured selections for the Best US Regional Banks and the World’s Best Banks by Region.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was also declared ‘Strongest Bank Brand’ in Sri Lanka by Brand Finance earlier this month. Other international awards won by the Bank this year include ‘Best Corporate Bank Sri Lanka 2020’ and ‘Best Trade Finance Bank Sri Lanka 2020’ from International Business Magazine of the UAE, and the ‘Decade of Excellence’ Award for Retail Banking in Sri Lanka from Global Banking & Finance Review of the UK.

Founded in 1987, Global Finance has a circulation of 50,050 and a readership encompassing chairmen, presidents, CEOs, CFOs, treasurers and other senior financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions. Global Finance is headquartered in New York and has offices in London and Milan. Each year Global Finance selects the best financial institutions around the world. These awards have become a recognised and trusted standard of excellence.

The first Sri Lankan Bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for nine years consecutively, Commercial Bank is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Bank, which won more than 50 international and local awards in 2019, operates a network of 268 branches and 865 ATMs in Sri Lanka.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

(Media Release)