Commercial Bank signs agreement with Bank Muscat Oman for instant money transfers

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently formalised its tie-up with the Bank Muscat Oman to facilitate remittances to Sri Lanka via the latter’s new feature-rich mobile banking app, with the signing of an agreement in Muscat. The mobile app makes it possible for users to send cash remittances to recipients in Sri Lanka or transfer money to accounts at Commercial Bank 24/7. They may also transfer funds to accounts at other banks in Sri Lanka via Commercial Bank. The agreement between the two banks was signed by Abdullah Tamman Al Mashani, Deputy General-Manager — Institutional Sales & Products Development of Bank Muscat and Palitha Perera, Assistant General Manager — Operations of Commercial Bank (second left), in the presence of Mr J. H. Liyanage, Minister for Commerce from the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Oman (extreme left) and other officials.

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71 Commercial Bank branches to be kept open on 2nd May

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it will keep 71 branches open for business on Monday 2nd May 2016, a statutory bank holiday in lieu of May Day, which falls on Sunday.

The Bank said its 30 Supermarket Banking Centres and 25 ‘365-day’ branches will work their customary hours on that day, while another 16 branches will be open from 9 am to 1 pm.

These 16 branches are Wellawatte, Kolluptiya, Kotahena, Maharagama, Borella, Nugegoda, Narahenpita, Battaramulla, Panchikawatte, Union Place, Wattala, Dehiwala, Avissawella,Piliyandala, the Foreign branch at Razik Fareed Mawatha and Main Street, Pettah.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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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Commercial Bank hosts Lankans in exchange houses in Qatar

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently felicitated a group of Sri Lankans employed in exchange houses in Qatar in appreciation of their role in popularising the Bank’s remittances services in the state.

The event at Grand Mecure Hotel in Doha was attended by more than 200 Sri Lankans who were treated to fun activities, musical entertainment and an opportunity to interact with each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

Qatar, which employs approximately 125,000 Sri Lankans, is a key market for Commercial Bank’s remittance products. Considered to be among the top five remittance corridors to Sri Lanka,Qatar has a substantial expatriate worker population and 20 exchange houses to cater to the money remitting requirements of this workforce. Commercial Bank currently has four Business Promotion Officers stationed in the country.

Commercial Bank is one of the most active players in Sri Lanka in the field of remittances, offering customers a range of options including ‘e-Exchange’ – the Bank’s own sophisticated real-time on-line money transfer service, as well as the MoneyGram, Ria and Express Money remittance services.

One of the Bank’s key strengths is its island-wide network of 250 branches, many of which remain open on public, bank and mercantile holidays, and its network of 625 ATMs, which is the largest automated cash dispensing system owned by a single bank in Sri Lanka. Recipients of remittances sent to the Bank enjoy many benefits such as over 60 holiday banking centres and super market counters, a dedicated customer support call centre for remittances and SMS alerts facilities once the remittance is received and is ready to be paid out.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 branches and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. In September 2015, the Bank received regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives. The Bank also received license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy recently.

In the picture (above, on left) Mr Hasrath Munasinghe, Deputy General Manager Marketing of Commercial Bank presents a token of appreciation to a participant at the ceremony and (below) some of the guests that attended the ceremony.

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Commercial Bank supports Ranaviru Sevana ‘Avurudu’ celebrations

The ‘Avurudu’ celebrations of ‘Ranaviru Sevana,’ the rehabilitation centre in Ragama for disabled war heroes, were supported for the seventh consecutive year in 2016 by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon. The event provided an opportunity for disabled soldiers to enjoy a day of fun by engaging in traditional games. In the picture (above) Commercial Bank’s Senior Manager Marketing Mr Arjuna Herath (on left) presents a gift to the winner of one of the events and (below) one of the events in progress.

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Commercial Bank smashes ATM withdrawal records


Dispenses Rs 21.54 billion in first 14 days of April as country celebrates ‘Avurudu’

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon smashed its records for cash dispensed via the Bank’s automated teller machine (ATM) network over a 14 day period this ‘Avurudu’ season, dispensing a jaw-dropping Rs 21.54 billion between 1st and 14th April.

On four of these 14 days, the 625-terminal network dispensed more than Rs 2 billion a day, with the peak of Rs 2.504 billion being achieved on Friday, 8th April, a new record for cash dispensed in a single day, the Bank said.

Commercial Bank’s ATMs processed 3.4 million requests for cash withdrawals during the fortnight at an all-time high average of 243,571 withdrawals per day.

“These figures are very encouraging and show the public’s trust in our ATM network,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “While reaffirming the capacity and reliability of our ATM network, they also emphasise the indispensable role the network plays in the lives of millions of people, including holders of ATM cards issued by other banks.”

The previous record for cash withdrawals in a single day was set by Commercial Bank on 10th April 2015, when users of the Bank’s ATM network, then at 610 terminals, withdrew Rs 2.49 billion.

The Bank said the figures for April 2016 reflect a consistent increase in dependence on the Bank’s ATM network and underline the importance of expansion to serve an even wider customer base.

The Commercial Bank ATM network is the largest automated cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in Sri Lanka. Holders of Commercial Bank’s standard ATM cum Shopping Debit Cards can withdraw up to Rs 40,000 from the Bank’s ATMs per withdrawal. The Bank also offers customers the option of setting their own ATM withdrawal limits up to a maximum of Rs 100,000 a day, and a point-of-sale limit of up to Rs 500,000.

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 250 branches in Sri Lanka. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 branches and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. In September 2015, the Bank received regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives. The Bank also received license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy recently.

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Commercial Bank wins top Global Brand Excellence Award

The strength of Commercial Bank of Ceylon as a corporate brand was recognised on the international stage recently when the Bank was presented the award for ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ at the 2016 CMO Asia Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

With this prestigious award, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank has reaffirmed its status as one of the strongest brands in Sri Lanka and the Asia Pacific region. The award won by the Bank was the only one presented in that category.

The award for ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ was won for the Bank’s attractive thematic corporate campaign which engages multiple target segments and is based on the Bank’s role of focusing on and empowering the aspirations of customers under the proposition ‘The Bank for Your Success.’

“This is the third year in succession that we were recognised at the CMO Asia awards, which is in itself a noteworthy achievement,” Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager Marketing Mr.Hasrath Munasinghe said. “We are particularly delighted at winning the award for ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ which is extremely competitive.”

He said this award is a further endorsement that the Bank’s marketing endeavours are committed to superior brand building and enhancement in terms of recollection in the consumers’ minds of the important role the Bank plays as a partner in the most important milestones of their lives and in helping them achieve greater success.

Commercial Bank won two awards – Asia’s Best Employer Brand and the award for Talent Management at the Best Employer Brand Awards of the 2015 World Brand Congress organised by CMO Asia in Singapore. In 2014, the Bank received the award for ‘Support and Improvement in quality of Education’ and a Merit Certificate for ‘Concern for Health’ at Asia’s Best CSR Practices Awards presented during the CMO Asia World Brand Congress, also in Singapore.

At this year’s event, the 7th CMO Asia Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing were presented at the Pullman City Centre Hotel and Residencies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 11th April 2016.

The CMO Asia Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing brings together elite marketers, brand custodians and the world’s best advertisers under one roof. The awards recognise the best industry professionals who have made outstanding contributions in the branding and marketing fraternity to enhance corporate and brand reputation.

The awards are judged by an international jury comprising of senior and accomplished professionals from Marketing, Branding, and Advertising.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

 

Photo caption:

Commercial Bank's Senior Manager Marketing Iresha Degamboda (right) accepts the award for Marketing Campaign of the Year at the CMO Asia Global Brand Excellence Awards

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Commercial Bank supports up and coming mobile game developers

Mobile Game Development Challenge

Mobile Game Development Challenge


Conducts mobile game challenge – a first by a local bank


The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has come forward to support up and coming mobile game developers by recognising their creativity and capability through a mobile game competition.

A first by a bank in Sri Lanka, the ‘Combank Mobile Game Development Challenge’ conducted by the Bank via Facebook over three months saw more than 100 applicants including individuals, companies and undergraduates of several leading IT universities competing, at the end of which 13 games were in contention for the final round.

The top three games based on the number of downloads during the trial period – ‘Light Up the Grid,’ ‘Devil Run’ and ‘Fluffy’ – are now available for free download from the Google Play Store, and have received many good reviews.

“Commercial Bank recognised the need to assist the local mobile game development industry, which mostly consists of undergraduates and students.The main objective of organising this competition was to provide an opportunity for young mobile app developers to come up with games and launch them with the backing of the Bank,” said Mr Hasrath Munasinghe, Deputy General Manager Marketing at Commercial Bank.

The challenge required contestants to develop games, host and promote them using any marketing mechanism to attract players.

The submitted games were judged by industry experts based on the originality of the concept, number of downloads, use of technology, visual design, controls and input and entertainment value.The winners were awarded cash prizes.

As the conductor of the challenge, Commercial Bank said it will market the games on behalf of the developers and provide them a platform to take their games to international markets, while promoting them locally.

A leader in technology-enabled convenience in the banking sector, Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently broke new ground by becoming the first bank in Sri Lanka to offer customers an e-Passbook that provides access to details of savings, current, NRFC and RFC accounts on Android and iOS powered mobile devices.Commercial Bank also offers mobile phone users the convenience of accessing many of its services via the Bank’s own sophisticated app for users of Apple or Android-powered smart devices.

The global mobile gaming industry is thriving industry and has created many entrepreneurs. In addition to its commitment to create customer convenience through technological innovations, Commercial Bank is keen to extend its technical and marketing expertise to support the local mobile gaming industry through initiatives such as these, the Bank said.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

 

Photo captions:

Image 1 - Commercial Bank’s Managing Director Mr Jegan Durairatnam (centre) presents a cheque to the Grand Prize winner in the challenge, in the presence of representatives of the Bank and the winning team.

Image 2 – The top three winners of the challenge.

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‘Lester, Cinema and Sri Lanka’ launched on the maestro’s 97th birthday

The ceremonial launch of a book on the life and work of Dr Lester James Peries, the doyen of Sri Lankan cinema was held to celebrate his 97th birthday. The event was attended by the Prime Minister, Media Minister,relatives, veterans from the film and media industries and well-wishers.

‘Lester, Cinema and Sri Lanka’ is a tribute to the pioneer film director whose 20 cinematic masterpieces are credited with being works that defined and influenced the evolution of the film industry in Sri Lanka and won international approbation. Rekhava, Gamperaliya, Sandeshaya, Delovak Athara, Golu Hadawatha, Nidhanaya and Baddegama are acknowledged for their revolutionary creativity. Rekhava was nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or award at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival and he was awarded the Fellini Gold Medal by UNESCO at the Cannes International Film Festival for his outstanding film career in 2003.

This in-depth study on Dr. Lester James Peries is written by Mr. Ajith Galappaththi, a veteran in the cinema, journalism and advertising industries. He is also a member of the foreign television program evaluating board of the Ministry of Mass Media and a member of the Teledrama evaluating panel at Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.

Commercial Bank partnered the book launch ceremony held at the residence of Dr. Peries. “We considered it a privilege to partner the launch of this latest book on the maestro, as it will enrich the base of knowledge on his contribution to the industry and inspire future generations,”the Bank said. Commercial Bank actively participates in activities that uplift the local arts field through event sponsorships and assisting productions and publications that promote local artistic talent. As part of its commitment to the development of local skills in film making by supporting high quality productions, the Bank funded the re-telecast last year of the award winning teledrama Kadulla, the production of which the Bank funded in 1992.

Pictured here is the Hon.Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe being presented a copy of ‘Lester, Cinema and Sri Lanka’ by Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager Marketing Mr. Hasrath Munasinghe in the presence of Dr. Lester James Peries and the author of the book Mr. Ajith Galapaththi.

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Top retailers offer ‘Avurudu’ discounts to Commercial Bank cardholders

 

The prospect of shopping for the ‘Avurudu’ season has just become brighter for holders of Credit and Debit Cards of Commercial Bank of Ceylon following the announcement of special discounts secured for them by Sri Lanka’s largest private bank.

Sixty five popular retailers of clothing, footwear, textiles, jewellery and perfumes have confirmed they will offer discounts ranging from 10% to 25% on specific days between 1st and 17th April this year, the Bank said.

Participating in this exclusive annual cardholder promotion from 1st to 3rd April are Aviraté, Brand Warehouse, Diliganz, Double XL, Fashion Bug, Haamaa, Kelly Felder, Mangala Tex, PL. MTT. Muthukaruppan Chettiar, Samanmal Traders, Shirt Works (Crocodile, Emerald), Supul Collection, TFO; from 4th to 7th April –Aditi,AndhumAndhum, Ashee Collection, Be You Fashion,CIB Shopping, Clarks, Dilly & Carlo,Dressmo, DSI, DSI Premier, Hameedia,New Sriyani Dress Point, Puma, Reebok, RV Fashions, Signature, Spring & Summer, The Origin, The Raymond Shop; on 5th and 6th April – Softlogic Group – Crocs, Nike, Galleria, Giordano, International Watches, Levi’s, Mango, Mothercare, Dockers, Pepe Jeans and Splash – and Triumph International;from 8th to 10th April – Bata,Choice Park, Cloud7,House of Fashions, Hush Puppies, Kreations, Power, SareeMandhir, Scholl, The Kids Warehouse; from 11th to 13th April - Beverly Street,Cool Planet, LuvEsence, Much More, Romafour, Sunimal’s and Vol Square and from 15th to 17th April –Kids Land and The Parfumerie.

The participating retailers represent an extensive choice of products and prices to cater to the needs of a wide cross section of credit and debit cardholders, the Bank said.

Discounts of this nature 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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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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Global Finance(USA) names Commercial Bank ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 17th time

One of the world’s leading financial magazines has rated Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC the Best Bank in Sri Lanka, reaffirming the Bank’s status as the leader in its field for an emphatic 17th year.

Global Finance’s just-released 2016 list of the world’s 25 Best Emerging Markets Banks in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, names Commercial Bank alongside some of the leading banks in these regions.

Criteria for choosing the winners included growth in assets, profitability, strategic relationships, customer service, competitive pricing, and innovative products. In addition, a poll of Global Finance’s corporate readership was conducted in order to increase the accuracy and reliability of the results, the magazine said.

“We are delighted to be named the Best Bank in Sri Lanka for the 17th time since Global Finance began this annual exercise,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director & CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “Given its audited circulation of more than 50,000 in the upper echelons of global corporate leadership, this assessment carries much weight, and the stringent evaluation process has an acknowledged credibility.”

The detailed results of Global Finance’s latest exclusive survey are to be published in the May 2016 issue of the magazine and winners will be honoured at an Awards Ceremony held during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington, DC on the morning of October 8, 2016 at the National Press Club.

Named alongside Commercial Bank this year as the Best Banks in their respective countries in the Asia Pacific region are ICBC (China), State Bank of India (India), Bank Rakyat (Indonesia) Standard Chartered (Pakistan), Maybank (Malaysia), CTBC Bank (Taiwan), KEB Hana Bank (South Korea), Siam Commercial Bank (Thailand) and City Bank (Bangladesh).

“We honour those banks that excel at addressing the needs of their clients and have the deepest commitment to the markets in which they operate, despite the uncertain conditions they face,”said Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher and editorial director of Global Finance. “The world’s banks continue to deal with a number of headwinds, including geopolitical risk, volatile economic and market conditions and still-changing regulatory regimes.”

Founded in 1987, Global Finance has a circulation of 50,050 and readers in 188 countries. Its audience includes 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 also targets the 8,000 international portfolio investors responsible for more than 80% of all global assets under professional management.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 branches and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. In September 2015, the Bank received regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives. The Bank also received license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy recently.

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71 Commercial Bank branches to be kept open on Good Friday

For the second time this month, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon will keep 71 branches open for business on a Public and Bank holiday, this time on 25th March, which is Good Friday.

The Bank has announced that its30 Supermarket Banking Centres and 25 ‘365-day’ branches will work their customary hours on that day, while another 16 branches will be open from 9 am to 1 pm.
These 16 branches are Wellawatte, Kolluptiya, Kotahena, Maharagama, Borella, Nugegoda, Narahenpita, Battaramulla, Panchikawatte, Union Place, Wattala, Dehiwala, Avissawella,Piliyandala, the Foreign branch at Razik Fareed Mawatha and Main Street, Pettah.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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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Commercial Bank introduces e passbook on mobile phone

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has broken new ground in technology-enabled convenience by becoming the first bank in Sri Lanka to offer customers an e-Passbook that provides access to details of savings,current,NRFC and RFC accounts on Android and iOS powered mobile devices.

A breakthrough digital virtual mobile application offered free by the country’s largest private bank enables account holders to have a real-time view of transactions of the past 30 days on their mobile phones or tabs anytime, anywhere.

The app, which updates automatically whenever the user is online, also stores the last view of the e-Passbook on the user’s mobile device, making it possible to view it even when the phone or tab is offline, the Bank said.

“This is one of the most exciting new developments in our technology offering,” Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “Our team is constantly looking to push the boundaries of what is possible in our search to offer the ultimate in convenience to customers. This app is a great example of the Bank’s capabilities in, and commitment to, technology-enabled banking.” He added that once the e-passbook is downloaded and the access code is set, checking an account is as easy as tapping on the phone screen.

The e-Passbook is able to display account history as in a standard savings passbook or a current account statement. It offers users real-time tracking of account transactions of the last 30 days, and can be used as a single repository for multiple accounts enrolled by an account holder for the facility, with the capability to view each account separately.

Users may label different accounts with preferred names or codes for easy reference. The e-Passbook app offers the user the flexibility of operating with or without a log-in password.

Any existing personal savings, NRFC, RFC or current account holder of Commercial Bank who has a valid mobile number registered with the Bank may activate the e-Passbook facility by calling a branch, by calling the e Banking Call Centre on 011 2353576 or by visiting a branch, the Bank said. New customers who open personal savings, current, NRFC or RFC accounts can also request the facility which will be provided at the time of opening the account.

Joint Account holders too could obtain the e-Passbook facility after submitting the written consent of all parties, the Bank said.

Besides the new e-Passbook facility, Commercial Bank also offers mobile phone users the convenience of accessing many of its services via the Bank’s own sophisticated app for users of Apple or Android-powered smart devices.

Offering both on and off line functionality, the App which can be downloaded free of charge, enables users to conduct a wide range of transactions and view key information on their mobile phones 24 hours of the day.

Among the online features are a dashboard view for account inquiry and bank notifications sent via secure messages, credit card balance inquiry, bill settlement, current cycle of transactions and online payment history, inquiries on investments and loans, payments and online payment history, transfer of funds between own and registered accounts with online transfer history, and password changes.

The offline menu of the Mobile Banking App provides locations of Commercial Bank branches and ATMs, exchange and interest rates, general notices, a ‘Help’ feature and the ‘Contact us’ option.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 branches and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. In September 2015, the Bank received regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives. The Bank also received license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy recently.

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Commercial Bank donates laptops to undergrads with vision difficulties

A project by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon to help undergraduates with vision impairment by providing them with specially-designed laptops and software has benefitted another 20 students from four universities.

The latest presentation, which took place at the Kandy Teaching Hospital recently, takes the number of undergraduates that have received such laptops from the Bank to 40.

The Bank said the widescreen laptops have a software program titled ‘Jaws’ installed by the Centre for Sight (CFS) Kandy, which reads out what is being typed on the keyboard, enabling users to correct their mistakes.

The first group of vision-impaired students to receive such laptops from Commercial Bank in 2014 comprised of students from the Ruhuna, Peradeniya, Colombo, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya and Jaffna universities.

“We have heard that these laptops have removed many barriers to their education,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “These students use their laptops for recording lectures, planning out and typing their theses, making presentations and for searching for information.”

Before they received the laptops with Jaws software, students with visual impairmentsmade audio recordings of lectures, listened to them and attempted to take notes. However, ambient noise resulted in indistinct recordings, and their lecture notes were rarely complete. Using the laptops donated by Commercial Bank, they now download recorded lectures, achieving improved clarity and better notes, he explained.

Most of these students used braille to produce their presentations and theses,and read them aloud to friends who were not visually impaired, who then wrote out their assignments for them. They are now able to work independently and have started answering their examinations using the donated laptops.

Besides these laptops, Commercial Bank donates laptops and scholarships to 50 undergraduates every year, under the Bank’s on-going corporate social responsibility agenda. The Bank also funds a nation-wide initiative to improve IT literacy levels among students by donating fully-equipped and furnished IT labs to schools, under which it has to date donated 170 computer labs that are benefitting more than 170,000 students.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

 

Photo captions:

Image 1 – Some of the undergraduates that received laptops with representatives of Commercial Bank.

Image 2 – Some of the undergraduates at the presentation of laptops by Commercial Bank.

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Commercial Bank opens Agriculture & Micro Finance Unit in Neluwa

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has opened its 14th Agriculture & Micro Finance Unit (AMFU) at Neluwa in the Galle District to facilitate the Bank’s efforts to support micro, small and medium entrepreneurs in the area including commercial scale agriculture entrepreneurs.

The opening coincided with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Bank’s Neluwa branch, to which the new AMFU is affiliated.

The Unit will work closely with the Commercial Bank branches at Neluwa, Udugama and Matugama to help business build capacity, expand operations, acquire new equipment and adopt new technology, the Bank said. The agricultural activities in the regions covered encompass tea plantations and smallholdings, rubber plantations, paddy, cinnamon and pepper cultivation and the manufacture of cinnamon products.

Commercial Bank’s Agriculture & Micro Finance Units play a key role in helping the Bank identify specific needs of people who require assistance to develop either their agriculture activities or small businesses, and are dedicated to promoting agriculture lending and micro finance and resolving difficulties. These units also conduct programmes to enhance domain knowledge and financial literacy among entrepreneurs in the target segments.

Commercial Bank’s other Agriculture & Micro Finance Units are located in Ratnapura, Narammala, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Kilinochchi, Bandarawela, Monaragala, Hingurakgoda, Galewela, Atchuvely, Vavuniya,Kattankudy and Tissamaharama.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Photo caption:

Pictured here is the ceremonial presentation of the keys to a vehicle financed by the new Commercial Bank AMFU at Neluwa by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager – Personal Banking III & SME Mr Delakshan Hettiarachchi, in the presence of officials of the Bank.

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Commercial Bank to keep 72 branches open on March 7 – Mahasivarathri Day

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it will keep 72 branches open for business on Monday, 7th March, a Public and Bank holiday to mark the Mahasivarathri festival.

The Commercial Bank branches that will operate on that day include the Bank’s 30 Supermarket Banking Centres and 25 ‘365-day’ branches which will work their customary hours, and another 17 branches that will be open from 9 am to 1 pm, the Bank said.

These 17 branches are Wellawatte, Kolluptiya, Kotahena, Maharagama, Borella, Nugegoda, Narahenpita, Battaramulla, Panchikawatte, Union Place, Wattala, Dehiwala, Moratuwa, Avissawella,
Piliyandala, the Foreign branch at Razik Fareed Mawatha and Main Street, Pettah.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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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Commercial Bank Adjudged Best Among Banks for Sustainability Reporting

The Sustainability Report of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has been adjudged the best in the Banking Sector at the 2015 Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards presented by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Sri Lanka Liaison Office.

One of five key segments in the Bank’s Annual Report for 2014, the Commercial Bank Sustainability Report is a comprehensive 57-page account covering the economic, social and environmental performance of Sri Lanka’s largest private bank for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2014.

The prestigious ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards presented for the 12th year, recognised one overall winner and runner-up and presented 13 additional awards in six industry categories. The entries were judged on the triad of 3Cs -- Completeness, Credibility and Communication. The awards are endorsed by the Ministry of Environment and the Global Compact Network Ceylon.

This was the second major award won by the Commercial Bank’s 2014 Annual Report in the sphere of Sustainability Reporting this year, and its seventh award overall. In early February 2016, the report was adjudged ‘Asia’s Best Integrated Report’ at the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards in Singapore. The report also won five awards at the 2015 Annual Report Awards of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), including the Edmund J. Cooray Memorial Trophy for the Best Annual Report among banking institutions.

“We have always believed that the importance of comprehensive disclosure on all aspects of our operations cannot be over-emphasised,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director & CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam said. “Each year, we make a greater effort to incorporate the latest best practices in reporting into our Annual Report. We are therefore much encouraged by the ACCA Award.”

He said the 2014 Sustainability Report of Commercial Bank adopts the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines Version G4 and GRI’s G4 Financial Services Sector Supplement for Sustainability Reporting.

Themed ‘Combanking’ the award-winning 2014 Annual Report of Commercial Bank is a 432-page volume.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 branches and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. In September 2015, the Bank received regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives. The Bank also received license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy recently.

 

Photo caption

Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam (left) receives the award from Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M. Swaminathan.

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Commercial Bank presents hampers to 300 remittance customers

The Commercial Bank has rewarded 300 customers with hampers worth Rs 5,000 each following the conclusion of the Bank’s promotion launched in November 2015 for recipients of remittances. The promotion was open to customers who received remittances via ‘e-Exchange’ – the Bank’s own sophisticated real-time on-line money transfer service, as well viathe MoneyGram, Ria or Express Money remittance services. Pictured here is one of the winners receiving her hamper from Mr Pradeep Banduwansa, Commercial Bank’s Chief Manager e Banking (centre).

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Trailblazing Commercial Bank ends 2015 with solid bottom line growth

  • Profit before tax improves by 9%
  • Loan book grows 25.33% to Rs 508 billion
  • Deposits up 17.90% to Rs 624 billion
  • Assets increase by 10.58% to Rs 880 billion

Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has recorded profit before tax of Rs 17.144 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2015, a year in which it strengthened its positions in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and accelerated its transition to becoming Sri Lanka’s first private international bank.

A carefully managed performance saw Sri Lanka’s largest private bank attain solid growth across all business lines to improve pre-tax profit by a healthy 8.94% over the preceding year and achieve net profit of Rs 11.903 billion for 2015, a growth of 6.47% despite lower margins, reduced capital gains and higher tax commitments. Profit before Financial VAT and Nation Building Tax (NBT) was up 8.73% to Rs 20.033 billion.

Gross income increased by 7.03% to Rs 77.868 billion, and net interest income grew by a robust 11.47% to Rs 30.346 billion, the Bank reported in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

One of the many performance highlights of the year under review was the strong growth of the Bank’s loan book, which increased by Rs 102.684 billion or 25.33% to Rs 508.115 billion. This was the first time that the Bank’s loan book achieved a net growth of more than Rs 100 billion in a year.

Total assets grew by a noteworthy Rs 84.195 billion or 10.58% over the 12 months to Rs 879.805 billion at December 31, 2015. Deposits from customers increased by Rs 94.740 billion at an average of Rs 7.9 billion a month to Rs 624.102 billion at the end of 2015, reflecting Year-on-Year growth of 17.90%.

“We are pleased with these results because they reflect the ability of the Bank to grow in changing conditions, while continuing to enlarge its footprint in Sri Lanka and overseas, and consolidating its position as a catalyst in the socioeconomic progress of our country,” Commercial Bank Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe said.

The Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnamadded that 2015 was noteworthy because a strong foundation for future growth had been set with the licenses secured to operate in Myanmar, Maldives and Italy. “These achievements are perhaps the most significant for the year as they expand our horizons, presenting new opportunities for growth and further strengthening our position in our home market,” he said.

Elaborating on key performance indicators in the year under review, Commercial Bank said interest income had increased by 6.79% to Rs 66.031 billion, while interest expenses had grown by 3.11% to Rs 35.685 billion, helped by an improved Current Account and Savings Account (CASA) ratio and due to timely re-pricing of assets and liabilities.

Other operating income improved by 7.65% to Rs 10.936 billion, with net fees & commissions growing by 11.24% to Rs 5.374 billion, other income including recoveries of loans written off increasing by 20.67% to Rs 4.055 billion, and the conversion of a net loss on trading of Rs 305 million in 2014 to a net gain of Rs 813 million in 2015. However, net gains from financial investments in the year reviewed totalled only Rs 694 million as against a profit of Rs 2.273 billion in 2014 which came mostly from profit from bond trading.

Although the Bank witnessed in increase in impairment charges by 22.11% to Rs 3.943 billion, the Bank’s non-performing loans reduced in the year under review.Notably the Bank was successful in reducing its non-performing loans in absolute terms during the year under review.

Total operating income before impairment charges grew by 10.44% to Rs 41.282 billion, and net operating income improved by 9.33% to Rs 37.338 billion, the Bank reported. Total operating expenses for the 12 months was up 10.04% to Rs 17.306 billion.

The Bank’s gross and net non-performing loans (NPL) ratio improved to 2.74% and 1.41% respectively from 3.47% and 1.86% at the end of 2014, while return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE) reduced to 1.42% and 16.90% respectively due to lower margins and high asset growth. The cost income ratio stood at 48.92%, which is below the industry average, while the Bank’s net interest margin reduced to 3.39% from 3.60% in 2014.

The Bank improved its provision cover to 48.49% in 2015 from 46.34% at end 2014. Capital adequacy ratios declined marginally due to the growth of its loan book, but at 11.60% for Tier I and 14.26% for total (Tier I + Tier II) capital adequacy, remained well above the minimum statutory requirements of 5% and 10% respectively.

At Group level, Commercial Bank, its subsidiaries and associates reported profit before tax of Rs 17.136 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015, an improvement of 8.05%. Profit after tax for the year grew by 5.48% to Rs 11.859 billion.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 branches and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. In September 2015, the Bank received regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives. The Bank also received license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy recently.

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Commercial Bank launches 9-week ‘Dine and Smile’ promo

Credit and Debit Cardholders to receive 30% and 20% discounts when dining out at 57 restaurants till 17th April 2016

Credit and Debit Card holders of Commercial Bank have been invited to savour life’s delicious moments at 57 popular restaurants at attractive discounts over a nine week period ending 17th April 2016, under the Bank’s latest ‘Dine & Smile’ promotion.

Discounts of 30% for payments by Credit Card and of 20% for bills settled by Debit Card are to be offered exclusively to users of Visa and MasterCard cards issued by Commercial Bank at the participating restaurants which include 12 at six Jetwing Group hotels in Negombo, Galle, Nuwara Eliya and Yala; five at Turyaa Kalutara, four at Galadari Colombo, four at Waters Edge and 36 others.

The participating Jetwing Hotels restaurants will offer these discounts till 10th April 2016, while all others will do so till 17th April, the Bank said.

The participating restaurants are The Sand, Black Coral and The Deck of Jetwing Beach Negombo,The Kitchen, Center Point and Café J at Jetwing Blue, Negombo, Cinnamon Room and Cardamom Café at Jetwing Lighthouse Galle, Café C and Lellama at Jetwing Sea Negombo, Old Course Restaurant of Jetwing St. Andrew’s Nuwara Eliya, The Dining Room at Jetwing Yala, Frangipani and The Loft at Avani Bentota, the Main Restaurant of Club Bentota, Waves at Club Hotel Dolphin, Far Pavilions and Royal Spice at Earl’s Regency,California Grill, Coffee Shop, Flavors and Sheherezade at Galadari Hotel, SVAR, Samasa, Taaza, Mista Deli and Pink Lobster at Turyaa Kalutara, Amrith Masala Talk, Berlin Sky Lounge, Bars, Caffe Michaelanjelo, Loft and Scarlet Room at Colombo Courtyard, Fits Margosa Jaffna, Il Cielo, Jade, Jack Tree, Kinnaree, King Coconut Negombo, Loon Tao, Maharaja Palace, Poppy Hana, Raja Bojun, Semondu, Siam House, Street 360, Sunshine, The Mango Tree, The Sandwich Factory, TGI Fridays, Tsing Tao, Tsukiji Uoichi, Which Way West, and The Bakery, Board Walk, Ginza and The Long Bar at Waters Edge.

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 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility owned by a single bank in the country. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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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Commercial Bank announces debenture issue of Rs 5 bn. with option to increase to Rs 7 bn

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank by assets, market capitalisation and profit after tax, has announced plans to raise Rs 5 billion via a debenture issue with an option to increase it by a further Rs 2 billion, for the growth of the Bank’s lending portfolio and to further strengthen its balance sheet.

The listed, rated, unsecured, subordinated, redeemable debenture issue opens on 29th February, but applications are now being accepted, the Bank said. More details can be obtained from the prospectus available in the website www.combank.lk and at all stockbrokers.

The Bank will offer two types of debentures, Type A with a five year tenure and Type B with a 10 year tenure.

The five-year debentures will carry a fixed interest rate of 10.75% p.a. (AER 11.04%) payable semi-annually, while the ten-year debenture will offer a fixed interest rate of 11.25% p.a. (AER 11.57%), also payable semi-annually. The investors’ return is further enhanced by the tax concessions applicable to listed debentures.

The debentures are rated AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited (FRL). Commercial Bank’s National Long-Term Rating has been affirmed at 'AA(lka); Stable Outlook' by Fitch. The Investment Banking Division of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC is the Manager to the Issue.

The debenture issue will close in 14 days of its opening date unless oversubscribed before the closing date.

Commercial Bank ended 3Q 2015 with profit before tax of Rs 12.19 billion, net profit of Rs 8.426 billion, assets of Rs 872.9 billion, and capital adequacy ratios of 11.93% (Tier I) and 14.65% (Tier 1 + II), both well above the minimum statutory requirements of 5% and 10% respectively.

The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for five consecutive years by ‘The Banker’magazine of the UK, Commercial Bank operates a network of 250 branches and 625 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 (Brand Finance/LMD) and has also won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank from a number of 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.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 branches and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. In September 2015, the Bank received regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives. The Bank also received a license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy.

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