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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon won four awards including a ‘Top 10’ award at the 2013 Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to the country’s leading business entities. The Bank participated in the awards scheme for the first time in 2012 and won a single award that year.
The Bank received the award for ‘Governance’ in the Category Awards, the award for ‘Education’ in the awards for Long Term Projects and a merit award for ‘Infrastructure’ and was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens at this prestigious event.
The Long Term Projects Award presented to Commercial Bank was in respect of its nationally significant initiative to present fully-equipped and IT Labs to schools in all provinces of the country and a programme to help school children with better access to English language education. The Bank donated 43 IT Labs to 37 schools and six other institutions in the year ending 31st March 2013 and launched and completed the first of its English language programmes with the inaugural batch of 200 students. This is the second time the Bank’s education project was awarded Gold at this event.
The Infrastructure Award won by the Bank is based on 11 projects carried out in the year of assessment to provide critical care equipment and other facilities to government hospitals and to refurbish buildings where necessary.
“Our commitments to the community have evolved into a well-defined, comprehensively-structured series of high priority initiatives that are in-sync with national needs and the Bank’s own vision and mission,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO Mr Ravi Dias said. “Achieving tangible and lasting impact is an embedded objective, and in that context, the award for the best long-term project in Education is an important source of encouragement to the team.”
He said the Bank was also pleased to be acknowledged as one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens, an accolade that considers multiple aspects under three areas of sustainability -- environmental, social and economic.
“Within the overall evaluation of companies for the Best Corporate Citizen awards, being assessed for good corporate governance and being adjudged the best in that aspect is also particularly significant for a bank,” Mr Dias noted. He added that the Bank recognises that creating sustainable value requires a strong governance framework and adheres to the highest standards in ethics and complies with best contemporary principles.
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.’
The Bank’s IT Education initiative is intended to enable younger generations and the country to face the future with confidence with world-class knowledge. This programme shares synergy with the Bank’s enduring vision of being the most technologically-advanced innovative and customer friendly financial services organisation in Sri Lanka. By end November 2013, the number of IT Labs donated by Commercial Bank had reached 120 benefitting 120,000 children.
All computer laboratories donated by Commercial Bank are equipped with brand new computers with licensed software. The schools are also provided accessories such as computer tables, printers and chairs, and the Bank provides assistance to maintain and upgrade these computer labs when necessary to ensure that the facilities benefit many batches of students.
Besides this initiative in the sphere of education, Commercial Bank grants scholarships and presents laptops to undergraduates annually. From 2013 onwards the Bank presents 50 undergraduate scholarships and 50 laptops each year. The total number of scholarships presented to date is 250.
Among other community commitments of Commercial Bank are donations to facilities for war heroes such as the Ranaviru Sevana Ragama, Abhimansala in Anuradhapura and Mihindu Seth Medura, Attidiya. Promoting cultural heritage is also important area of activity of the Commercial Bank CSR Trust.
The largest private bank in Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank is the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 banks for three successive years. The Bank operates a network of 232 branches and service points in Sri Lanka and an ATM network of 582 terminals, the largest electronic cash dispensing facility operated in the country by a single bank. Adjudged ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 15 consecutive years by ‘Global Finance’ Magazine Commercial Bank has also won multiple awards as the country’s best bank from ‘The Banker,’ ‘FinanceAsia,’ ‘Euromoney’ and ‘Trade Finance’ magazines.
Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr Ravi Dias, Chief Financial Officer Mr. Nandika Buddhipala, and Coordinator of the Bank’s CSR Trust Mrs. Priyanthi Perera receiving the awards.