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Dominates the award ceremony with 7 awards
The Commercial Bank’s status as one of Sri Lanka’s leading corporate citizens was emphatically reaffirmed this week when the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce presented the country’s largest private bank with the Runner-Up award at the 2014 Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards, along with seven more accolades.
While retaining its position as one of the Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens in Sri Lanka, the Bank emerged the winner in the category award for ‘Economic Contribution,’ took the award for ‘Economic Sustainability’ in the Triple Bottom Line category and was awarded as the winner in ‘Financial Services’ in the sector awards. Under the project category the Bank was recognised with a special Long Term Project Award for its efforts to support the national healthcare system. This was the only award that was presented in this category and was a special honour for the Bank’s consistent and ongoing efforts to support the national healthcare system. Commercial Bank also received a Merit Award for its coral replanting project in Hikkaduwa.
This rich haul of accolades resulted in Commercial Bank becoming the most-awarded bank at this year’s edition of this prestigious awards programme, in only the third year of its participation.
“Sustainability and good corporate citizenship have always been at the top of our corporate values,” Commercial Bank’s Chairman Mr. Dharma Dheerasinghe said. “It is therefore most encouraging to have an entity of the calibre of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce acknowledge the pre-eminence the Bank has achieved in these vital performance benchmarks.”
“We are especially delighted to top the Financial Services sector and to be recognised as the best in respect of our economic contribution and in respect of economic sustainability. As the largest private bank in the country we are committed to the development of Sri Lanka and its future generations,” the Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Jegan Durairatnam added.
In terms of economic contribution, Commercial Bank ended 2013 with assets of Rs 600 billion, deposits of Rs 451 billion, a loan book of Rs 419.5 billion, revenue of Rs 73 billion, and net profit of Rs 10.5 billion, at the head of all licensed private banks in the country. The Bank has consolidated this position further in 2014, with assets of Rs 747 billion at the end of the third quarter, deposits of Rs 504 billion and a loan book of Rs 482.8 billion.
The Triple Bottom Line award recognises the Bank’s commitment to corporate sustainability through its focus is on People, the Planet and Profits, represented by its numerous initiatives to fulfil its responsibilities in the Social, Environmental and Economic dimensions of its operations.
The Long Term Project Award presented to Commercial Bank at the Best Corporate Citizen awards is in respect of the Bank’s on-going programme of donations of critical care equipment and other facilities to government hospitals around the country, alongside support to refurbish buildings where necessary.
A ground-breaking project undertaken to replant coral in the Hikkaduwa Marine National Park in partnership with the Department of Wildlife Conservation won the Bank the Merit Award. The initiative involved the replanting of 1,000 square feet in the Walduwa area of the marine park, using techniques perfected in the Philippines. The original coral in this protected area was damaged in 1998 due to the warming of the ocean due to the ‘El Niño’ southern oscillation and the tsunami of 2004.
All centrally-funded Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives come under the purview of the Commercial Bank CSR Trust, established in 2004. The Bank contributes a percentage of its post-tax profits annually to the Trust, and defines the overall goal of its CSR policy as ‘to generate measurable and sustainable social dividends for different segments of society, in particular those which require empowerment and enrichment.’
Besides its initiatives in the area of healthcare Commercial Bank has made a long term commitment to promoting IT literacy on a national scale with the donation of IT laboratories to schools across the country. The Bank has donated 150 such IT Labs to date, benefitting more than 150,000 students, and has launched an online learning programme via some of these IT Labs engaging a further 50,000 children from 50 schools.
Other initiatives of Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust include presenting scholarships and laptops to undergraduates, providing English education to rural school children, supporting facilities for war heroes and funding projects for the preservation of culture and heritage.
Ranked the ‘Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2014’ by The Asian Banker and the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for four consecutive years, Commercial Bank is also the most valuable private sector brand in the country in 2014. Commercial Bank operates a network of 239 branches and 605 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years, was adjudged one of the country’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD for the past 10 years. It 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 Chairman Mr. Dharma Dheerasinghe, Managing Director Mr. Jegan Durairatnam and Chief Operating Officer Mr. S Renganathan flanked by the Commercial Bank team at the awards ceremony.