BOC

With the aim of providing a seamless banking experience along with the latest digital banking solutions, the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) recently shifted its Jaffna Bus Stand branch to a new building in adding more convenience to its customers.

 

The opening ceremony took place with the patronage of the bank’s Assistance General Manager Northern Province Mr. Vallipuram Sivananthan with the participation of Operations Manager Northern Province Mr.S Anantharajah, Chief ManagerMr.K Sivagnanasundaram, Area Manager Mrs.N Sunrendraraj and Jaffna Bus Stand  Branch Manager Mr.S Subakajan. Dr. A. Jeyakumaran Regional Medical Officer MOH Nallur, Anti Malaria Campaign Jaffna was also among the distinguished guests.

BOC’s modern facility in Jaffna Bus Stand Branch will provide customers with access to full-range of modern banking services including digital banking channels under one roof. The Bank aims to play a greater role in uplifting   socio-economic wellbeing of the people in the region by further enhancing its service quality.

As BOC Jaffna Bus Stand Branch is connected with the network of 648 BOC branches across the country, the customers have the privilege of carrying out transactions with any part of the country through the BOC branch network.

This fully equipped branch offers a wide array of banking services to its customers inclusive of deposit products such as current and local or foreign currency savings/ Fixed Deposit accounts and investment plans and retail loan products and special development loans schemes. The Customers can also avail themselves of Debit or Credit cards and international money transfer/remittances services.

The Customers of Jaffna Bus Stand branch can also register themselves for a range of digital banking services such as BOC Smart online banking, B-APP mobile banking, SmartPay QR scan mobile-app to conduct daily banking transactions with convenience.  Furthermore, they also can fulfill some of their key banking needs including opening of new accounts and applying for personal/ housing  loans via online.

 

 

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC), continues to lead the industry as the No.1 Banking Brand in the country for the 14th consecutive year in the country’s leading Brands Billboard “Brand Finance Lanka’s – Brand Annual” for the year 2022. Standing resilient as ever, Bank of Ceylon is the only Banking brand to surpass a brand value over Rs. 50 billion.

Revolving around Sri Lankan aspirations, ensuring financial security and building confidence within the community to venture into new opportunities, BOC has been a resilient partner throughout its existence to date. With a unique depth of perception of the socio-economic landscape, BOC successfully managed to reach all segments of Sri Lankan society by promoting financial inclusivity specially to include those who are not within the mainstream banking system.

Commenting on the achievement the Chairman, Mr. Kanchana Ratwatte stated “BOC as an established indigence brand with roots running deeply into Sri Lankan heritance, always had so much gratitude on the trust placed on the brand by all its stakeholders. The resilience BOC has shown as the leading banking brand in the country is built through sheer commitment and dedication sustained over many decades based solely on the purpose to serve our people. During this time of unimaginable crisis, our promise goes to all our fellow Sri Lankans that, we at BOC will remain as the trusted financial partner and will strive towards improving the economic wellbeing of the nation as always. My humble appreciation goes to everyone who has been in this journey together with BOC at this juncture” he adds.

“I consider BOC, being named as the No.1 Banking Brand for 14 consecutive years as an unprecedented achievement. We wish to take this opportunity to thank and extend our gratitude to our loyal customers and all stakeholders for inspiring and encouraging us to strive towards excellence at all times. Meeting the evolving demands of our community we assure our customers and the country that the Bank will always move forward fulfilling the agenda to serve our people as we have always done,” stated the Bank’s General Manager, Mr. K. E. D. Sumanasiri.

A brand that grew over time as a responsible corporate citizen that resonated with the aspirations of Sri Lankans from all walks-of-lives, BOC counts is presence in all parts of the country with an interconnected network of over 640 branches and over 1400 ATM/CDMs and CRMs enabling 24x7 banking services.

With the view to increasing its footprint beyond Sri Lanka, BOC established its very first overseas branch in as early as 1949 in London, which was later converted to a fully-fledged banking subsidiary of BOC. Later the bank expanded its overseas branch network by opening units in Chennai, India, Male, Hulhu-Male and in Seychelles.

Empowered by the trust built over many decades in collaboration with the international banking community, Bank of Ceylon currently maintains foreign correspondent relationships with over 1,000 foreign banks and exchange houses.

BOC embarked on its digital transformation journey as early as 2007 by transforming its entire branch network and ATM network to an interconnected system which further empowered its customer base with the convenience of 24x7 banking from anywhere in the country. The Bank also adopted a full-scale online and mobile banking platform to enable cashless transactions, adding synergy to the local banking industry, which in turn became of paramount importance in keeping the country’s economy moving.

Growing in leaps and bounds, BOC’s balance sheet as at March 2022, recorded over Rs. 4 trillion in assets, Rs. 3.1 trillion in deposits and Rs. 2.4 trillion in its loan book, in addition to its operational capacity and reach. Due to its solid financial standing gained over eight decades of successful operation, the Bank is the trusted finance partner for infrastructure development projects that are of significant importance to the country. In addition to investing in socially responsible projects, BOC’s profits as a state institution are always invested back to the nation and its people.     

In response to the most pressing need of the economy, BOC strategically facilitates the recovery of much needed foreign currency inflow, through its strong foreign representative network stationed where high volume of expatriate foreign remittances generated. The Bank ensures a seamless and secured transactions over the banking system to intended beneficiaries. BOC has even gone a step further by introducing a special incentive scheme encouraging expatriates to remit through the legit banking system.

Reflecting on the proud journey of eight decades, BOC proudly continues to live up to its responsibility to the Sri Lankan community in multifaceted ways. Apart from reaching key financial and operational milestones as the leading commercial bank in the country, the Bank also strongly delivers on its corporate social responsibility. Among such initiatives are its commitment towards the betterment of environment and social aspects and upholding the principles of good governance.

BOC’s gradual transformation towards ‘Green Banking’ went hand-in-hand with its digital adoption, exploring opportunities in technology that would facilitate incorporation of products and service delivery while staying committed to reducing its carbon footprint. The Bank has successfully incorporated United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as blueprint along with its sustainability policy to measure its progress over time.

Bank of Ceylon, as the premier financial services entity in Sri Lanka, was awarded the coveted title of “Bank of the Year 2021 – Sri Lanka” by The Banker Magazine U.K. The prestigious award was bestowed in recognition of the Bank’s contribution to uplifting the lives of all Sri Lankans, while fulfilling its duty as the premier state bank. This award adds yet another title to the multi-award-winning bank that has been listed in the Top 1,000 Banks in the World ranking, consecutively since 2012, with a country ranking of No. 1, by “The Banker” magazine, UK.

“LankaPay Technnovation Awards 2022” honoured Bank of Ceylon as a ‘Digital Superhero’ by awarding it the “Overall Gold Award” for Excellence in Interbank Digital Payments. Bank of Ceylon ensures the continuity of its contribution to the socio-economic empowerment of all Sri Lankans through the banking system and continues to deliver its best towards the socio-economic development of the country.

 

Incentivising Sri Lankan expatriates to remit their hard-earned foreign currency earnings securely back to their families and loved ones, Sri Lanka’s No.1 Bank, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) is announcing third season of its unique ‘Pita Pita Rata Thegi’ promotion in offering the expatriates to win back-to-back valuable gifts in daily, weekly and monthly draws including a grand price a Luxury Villa worth Rs.30 million.

The third edition of BOC’s ‘Pita Pita Rata Thegi’ promotion presents Sri Lankan expatriates with multiple opportunities to win valuable gifts unlike any other in the industry. On a daily basis, 365 lucky winners will be awarded with Rs. 10,000 worth Gifts vouchers from leading supermarkets while 48 lucky remitters stand to win Rs. 100,000 worth of Gift vouchers for home appliances each week. In monthly draw, 75 lucky participants stand a chance to win gold coins and finally, Rs.30 million worth Luxury Villa is on the cards in Grand Draw.

Over the years, BOC has able to gain wide popularity among thousands of Sri Lankan expatriates for its highest market exchange rates, unparalleled benefits and for its cutting edge digital products in far exceeding the benefits and services offered. In supporting Sri Lankan expatriates to achieve their life-goals with their hard-earned foreign currency earnings, the Bank is also engaged in initiatives to enhance financial literacy of Sri Lankan expats while encouraging them to save and manage their earnings efficiently.

The BOC’s Smart Remit facility remains as the most popular digital money transfer service among Sri Lankan expats since its inception in 2013. Over the years, this facility has enabled Sri Lankans living abroad to reduce the transactional costs with its range of facilities and benefits as BOC continues to update and upgrade with latest technological developments. In 2021, BOC upgraded its Smart Remit facility enabling Sri Lankan expats to conduct real time remittance transfers more securely.

In addition, BOC has also enabled internet banking with its BOC B-App while offering a VISA international debit card free of charge to its customers in allowing BOC’s overseas account holders to check their account balances online, conduct fund transfers, make utility bill payments and to fulfill a wide range of banking needs online from anywhere in the world.

As a result of these pioneering initiatives backed by its service excellence, BOC was able to increase its remittance inflows by 29 percent in 2021 over the previous year while simultaneously increasing its market leadership in remittance inflows to 41 percent. This enabled the Bank to support the country with uninterrupted import of essential goods including petroleum, gas, vaccinations for COVID-19 and food items during 2019 and 2021.

The bank provides extensive financial support package to Sri Lankan expats in different stages of their foreign employment such as pre-departure financing. BOC’s pre-departure loan schemes are intended to cover basic costs involved in the migrating process of migrant employment seekers. It has eased the financial burden on them while allowing them to pursue their dream employment opportunity.

In order to in-calculate the habit of saving among Sri Lankan expats, BOC pioneered in introducing Non-Resident Foreign Currency Accounts (NRFC) account which gained wide popularity among Sri Lankan migrant workers as it offered the security and the best market interest rates along with an array of other benefits.

Following the decision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to convert NRFC, RFC, and NRNNFC as Personal Foreign Currency (PFC) Account allowing Banks to offer enhanced benefits to account holders, BOC moved swiftly to offer wide-range of additional benefits under PFC to its loyal customers. With the new initiative Sri Lankan migrant workers and their close family members are eligible to open a PFC Account with BOC that can be maintained as a current, saving or fixed-deposit account. As another novel initiative to maximize benefits to its PFC account holders, BOC has also moved to extend the cover of three insurance schemes for them.

In addition, BOC was also quick to introduce the high-interest bearing SDAs to its customers when the CBSL announced the SDAs ensuring highest interest rates and a hassle-free experience when opening a SDA with BOC, with the minimum documentation requirement for both Resident and non-Resident Sri Lankans.

Taking step further to support Sri Lankan migrant workers overseas, BOC has deployed 24 Business Promotion Officers (BPOs) in several countries which are popular Sri Lankan foreign employment destinations, including key Middle Eastern countries and South Korea.

Over the years, BOC has built a strong network of over 1000 partners consisting of foreign banks, exchange houses and money exchange service providers, becoming the top Sri Lankan banking entity with the largest partner network for money transactions. As a result of this wide-spread network, BOC PFC account holders are able to send and deposit their foreign currency to BOC from anywhere in the world.

 

Read on LMD.lk 

 

By Nuzla Rizkiya- Daily Mirror.

Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s No. 1 bank and premier financial services organization was awarded the prestigious ‘Overall Gold Award for Excellence in Interbank Digital Payments’ at the LankaPay Technnovation Awards 2022 held on the 29th of March at Shangri-La Colombo.

The event organized by LankaClear is known to be Sri Lanka’s only pioneering payment technology innovation awards. It seeks to recognize the frontrunners of payment technology innovations in the country who have steadfast to the cause of promoting electronic payments and who have constantly thrived to enhance customer convenience.

Honoured as a ‘Digital Superhero’

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic almost brought not only Sri Lanka, but the entire world to a standstill. Banking services were declared a critical essential service for people in this period.

Therefore, to honour those involved in the financial sector who worked tirelessly to ensure the general public could perform their day-to-day financial transactions from wherever they were safely and conveniently, LankaClear organized this years’ Technovation Awards ceremony under the theme ‘Honouring the Digital Superheroes’.

“ We are sincerely proud to that LankaPay Technnovation Awards 2022 honoured Bank of Ceylon as a ‘Digital Superhero’ by awarding it the Overall Gold Award for Excellence in Interbank Digital Payments’ for achieving the highest number of awards at the ceremony which included Gold Awards for the categories. We consider this as an achievement of our efforts to popularize digital banking solutions to all Sri Lankans around the country” states the Assistant General Manager Electronic Banking Mr. Eranga Bandara.

Awards includes;

“Most Popular Digital Payment Product of the year 2021”,

“Best Bank for Retail Payments”

“Bank of the year for Financial Inclusivity”

and also the Merit award for the “Best Common ATM enabler of the year”.

Commenting on the award General Manager Mr. K.E.D. Sumanasiri extends his gratitude to all customers of Bank of Ceylon for being a strategic partner in this victory and for the trust and they have placed on BOC’s digital platform. “I wish to thanks bank’s staff members for their commitment and dedication towards achieving bank’s mission for digitalization and empowering the country. We as the No.1 Bank in the country will always strive towards digital excellence that will uplift our community at all times” Mr. Sumanasiri further added.

 

Some key digital payment services offered by Bank of Ceylon

B App & Smart Online Banking- BOC’s B App & Smart Online Banking allows users to enjoy banking at their fingertips in a highly secured IT platform. With service facilities such as Online bill payment facility, Fund transfer Facility, Government Payments, Scheduled payments, Credit card payments and many more, a customer is able manage each and every transaction very easily and instantly. Easily downloadable to any IOS or Android device through Google-Play or Apple App Store, a customer has to simply submit the “B-App” application form to the nearest BOC branch/ self-enroll for the App and activate their account immediately.  The App also has been reportedly downloaded more than 1 Mn times.

BOC SmartPay - Operated under the Lanka QR system, BOC SmartPay connects a larger number of merchants with customers and allows a seamless, secure cashless-transaction mechanism which includes services such as QR Merchant payments, QR bill payments, in app bill payments etc. It is noticeable that transactions worth over Rs. 30 Mn have taken place through BOC SmartPay by now. 

BOC Smart PassBook - BOC Smart Passbook is the electronic version of a traditional passbook / Current Account Statement. The app can be downloaded through Google Play Store and App store. This App too has been reportedly downloaded more than 2 Mn times.

BOC Smart Zone - With a customer base geographically scattered all around Sri Lanka, BOC provides its banking services to all of them using its Smart Zone which covers over 739 ATMs (both on site and off site), 164 CDMs, 504 CRMs and through its interactive bill payment kiosks installed throughout the country. BOC also has a strong branch network consisting 648 branches.

BOC Digi - BOC’s state-of-the-art self-banking center BOC Digi provides a fully equipped self-banking center for customers to obtain all digital banking services under one roof. The service is also available 24*7.

BOC E- Connect-  For customers living in remote areas of the country who might not be aware of digital banking BOC E- connect provides them with an agency banking facility by appointing a well-recognized merchant in the area to carry out their transactions such as withdrawals, bill payments, fund transfers, etc.

BOC Branch on Wheel – “Branch on Wheel” are mobile BOC branches deployed in vehicles. The service was predominantly provided during the Covid-19 pandemic to lock down areas and quarantine centers allowing customers to do banking at their door step.  

Special digital payment services offered by Bank of Ceylon during the Covid-19 pandemic

In addition to the above mentioned digital payment services Bank of Ceylon was also recognized for offering some of its unique services during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Internet payment Gateway facility provided to supermarkets, groceries and pharmacies etc. enabled these organizations to carry out their business as online businesses during the pandemic. For utility providers of the country such as the Water Board who could not collect their bill payments during this phase, BOC assisted them by introducing a MPOS (mobile point-of-sale) system for their meter readers to accept payments from the consumers location itself. BOC also facilitated services for its customers to make payments for online classes of their kids through its B App fund transfer facility. Bank of Ceylon also provided the IPG facility to accept online donations to the Government initiated Covid-fund “ITUKAMA”.

With its well established IT infrastructure facilities which are capable of handling very high volumes and values, BOC’s online banking transactions cover a volume of over 30 Million LKR and holds a value of more than 650 Billion LKR. ATM, CDM, and CRM transactions covers a volume of over 128 Million LKR with its transaction value holding more than 2.2 Trillion LKR.

Bank of Ceylon is also continued to be recognized locally and internationally as the highest ranked local bank and was also listed among the Top 1000 Banks in the world in 2021 by the Banker Magazine UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encouraged with the growing demand, the Bank of Ceylon’s Business Revival and Rehabilitation (BRR) department expanded its operations to all provinces in the country furthering its assistance to local business organizations to come back to life from pandemic hit. Opening ceremonies of regional BRR Units took place recently in respective province offices situated in Nugegoda, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee with the patronage of the Bank’s Additional General Manager Mr. Russel Fonseka, the Bank’s DGM Recovery Provinces and Business Revival and Rehabilitation Unit (BRRU) Mr. M.R.N. Rohana Kumara and fellow members of the Corporate Management. AGM B.R.R.Unit Mr. N. Krishnakumar, respective Provincial Assistant General Managers and other officials also participated for these occasions.

With the guidance of the Bank’s Chairman Mr. Kanchana Ratwatte, the Board of Directors and the General Manager Mr. K.E.D. Sumanasiri, Deputy General Manager Recovery Provinces and B.R.R.Unit Mr. M.R.N. Rohana Kumara mapped the novel concept of “Business Revival” to uplift SME/Corporate customers who had defaulted on facilities due to genuine operational issues. Followed by some very successful pilot projects the specialized unit “Business Revival and Rehabilitation Unit” was established in later part of the year 2020. The new establishment has come a long way since then, facilitating and re-establishing the “entrepreneurial strength” in the country and it has now expanded to over 14 regional units across the country. 

In the face of COVID Pandemic mercilessly inhibiting the economies around the world, Many Sri Lankan businesses too were devastated with operations haltered, supply chain and distribution channels crippled and customer demand turned down. The effect went trickling down to loss of employment and a decent income for many households.  Driven with the responsibility towards the Sri Lankan community, the Bank of Ceylon improvised their existing strategies to be more adoptive the new situation. BOC’s objective was to infuse synergy to these businesses to revive and sustain its operations and profitability in the longer-run even under challenging situations. The Bank promises to strive towards the betterment of the country in the truest sense of being “Banker’s to the Nation”.

“SLIM-Kantar People’s Awards 2022”, adjudged the Bank of Ceylon as the “Best Service Provider of the year 2022” and “the Best Banking Service Provider of the year 2022” which are two prominent awards in the ceremony won based on People’s vote. With this recognition “The Bank of Ceylon” became the only bank to receive both these titles at a “People’s Award Ceremony”. The Bank of Ceylon has been recognized in this event at four occasions along with this year.  Winners were decided based on thorough research conducted by Sri Lanka Institute of Marketer’s and Kantar Sri Lanka which captured the brands that have bonded deeply with the Sri Lankan community. The award ceremony is considered as an important event by all Sri Lankan brands for it reveals how brands have performed in term of winning the customer preference through a scientific approach. Which also is an indication the strength of the brand in the way of addressing the needs of the customer/ community.

The research arm of the “People’s Award”, Kantar Sri Lanka which is the local partner of global Research company Kantar, has conducted a large scale independent survey across Sri Lanka. “Banker’s to the Nation”, Bank of Ceylon with its strong presence in physical and digital atmosphere is a deeply rooted with all Sri Lankan stakeholders.

With over 82 years, BOC has been the strategic finance partner to all Sri Lankan corporates and individuals alike. Leading the Sri Lankan banking industry Bank of Ceylon, currently boasts a balance sheet worth LKR 3.8 Trillion Assets base, LKR 2.9 Trillion Deposit base and LKR 2.6 Trillion Loans and advances portfolio at the end 2021 being the only Sri Lankan banking institution to achieve such feat. Spread across over 2000 physical touch points within the country, four overseas branches in Chennai, Male, Hulhu-Male and Seychelles and a full-fledged overseas Bank in London, BOC is a significant stakeholder in the country’s economy. Its participation in the areas of financial inclusion, improving financial literacy, enabling savings and thrift, encouraging employability through entrepreneurship development and livelihood development has been empowering the entire nation by staying aligned with its vision and improvising the strategy over time.

Stating on the achievement the Bank’s Additional General Manager Mr. Russel Fonseka extends his heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders of the Bank including the Government of Sri Lanka, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and all valued customers. “We consider this recognition that is given to us by our valued customers and all fellow Sri Lankans as the most important award of all awards the Bank received. The Bank always has only one agenda which is to strive towards the Socio-Economic development of the country and its people. With this vision it has been transforming the country’s banking and financial landscape and empowering Sri Lankans through digitalization, good governance and best practices, financial inclusion and sustainability initiatives. We are humbled and value this appreciation and most of all encouraged to do our best at all times for the betterment of all stakeholders” Mr. Fonseka further added.

A true leader in the Sri Lankan banking and finance industry, the Bank of Ceylon has collected many local and international awards and recognitions under its belt. The Brand “BOC” has been recognized as the No.1 Banking Brand in the country for the last 13 consecutive years and the only banking brand to surpass the brand value LKR 50 Billion in Sri Lanka. Awarded with the coveted title of “Bank of the Year 2021 – Sri Lanka” by The Banker Magazine U.K. Bank of Ceylon also titled among Top 1000 Banks in the World by the same world renowned banking Magazine. “The Banker U.K.” has awarded these prestigious titles in the recognition of the Bank’s contribution to uplift the lives of all Sri Lankans, while fulfilling its duty as the premier state bank.

 

Photo Caption:

The Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer Mr.Sameera Liyanage (center) receiving the awards at the SLIM-Kantar People’s Choice Awards 2022. (from Left to Right) DGM Finance and Planning Mr. Ruwan Kumara, Chief Legal Officer Mr. Badra Kalyanapriya Gurusinghe, DGM Branch Credit Operations Range-II Mr.Y.A. Jayathilake, AGM Marketing Mr.Aruna Hettiarachchi, DGM Branch Operations and Development Banking Mr.Nilantha Meneripitiyage, DGM Corporate and Offshore Mr.Priyal Silva, Manager Marketing Mr.Jagath Hiripitiyage and DGM Recovery Corporate Mr. D.S. Muthukudaarachchi. 

 

  • Profit Before Tax: Rs. 43.2 billion
  • Revenue growth of 17%
  • Net Interest income of Rs. 111.3 billion with 49 % growth
  • Total Assets; reached another milestone during the year: Rs. 3.8 trillion
  • Over Rs. 2 trillion Deposits and Advances base

 

Overview of the operating environment

The, year 2021 was another tumultuous year for the entire world due to wider and much longer impacts turned out by the Covid-19 pandemic. Fight back demanded quick response strategies with new thinking. However, ably supported by BoC by facilitating the priority imports of vaccines to the Nation was able to bring out much optimism during the mid and latter parts of the year. 

Sri Lanka being one of the few countries to initiate a successful vaccination drive in early 2021 was able to lift long lasted lockdowns creating conducive environment for the economic revival. The timely execution of the gradual shift between accommodative and tight monetary policy position and through many other policy instruments and further extension on extraordinary measures announced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka they were actively managing the tight headwinds created by the supply side inflation experienced in essential commodities coupled with a stressed external position due to the devastating setbacks experienced by major foreign earning industries. A Notable increase in credit to private sector was experienced while accommodative monetary policy was in place, creating a conducive environment for post Covid-19 recovery.

As the largest bank in the country the contribution of Bank of Ceylon in functionalizing the initiatives taken by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in stabilizing the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country is commended universally.

 Bank of Ceylon’s role

“During this difficult situation the Bank of Ceylon stamped its class by continuing to play the role of being Bankers to the Nation and supported the Nation to deliver its mandate of uplifting the Covid-19 hit economy. Availability of banking services was ensured even during lockdowns without compromising on the customer needs. The digital delivery channels were enhanced to cater to the unprecedented demand and the greater customer adoption rates to digital platforms. We continue to stand by our valued customers and our priority was assisting them in all possible ways in order to recover and support the country’s economy with more energy” stated Mr. Kanchana Ratwatte, the Chairman Bank of Ceylon.

 

Further commenting on the Bank’s services on the post Covid-19 recovery, he stated “the Bank tirelessly worked on ensuring that maximum benefits of the CBSL announced moratoria were being transferred to customers with least possible time lags. Going further the Bank’s own concession schemes were also offered to customers. At the same time, more focus was given on uplifting the SME sector by way of continuous engagement and giving them the much needed business acumen in addition to our role of financing. Moreover, as the largest Bank in the country, the Bank’s leading role in ensuring stable supply of essential import commodities such as fuel, food, vaccines, medical supplies is also noteworthy”.    

 

Financial Performance

Speaking on the Bank’s performance for the year 2021, the General Manager/CEO of the Bank of Ceylon, Mr. K E D Sumanasiri stated, the Bank was able to reiterate its position as the undisputed market leader in Sri Lanka’s banking sector, demonstrating its unparalleled ability to truly support its customers and the overall economy in trying times. Demonstrating its strength, agility and strategic approach in succeeding in the midst of challenges, the Bank was able to show a notable increase in both its fund-based and fee-based income during the year and recorded Rs. 43.2 billion Profit Before Tax, regardless of headwinds created by market interest rates fluctuations and stressed portfolio quality emanating from Covid-19 related economic impacts. This is a remarkable achievement for the Bank as it denotes the Bank’s strength of converting challenges into opportunities. “Further, the Bank’s asset book surpassed Rs. 3.0 trillion during the year surpassing another milestone in our journey” he mentioned.

                                                                  

Fund Based Income

Mostly, owing to loan growth and continuous credit monitoring efforts put in place during 2021, the Bank reported Rs. 260.5 billion interest income which is a 15% increase over the year 2020. The benefits of the remarkable loan growth achieved in the previous year materialized during this year, generating an interest income of Rs. 193.1 billion through loans and advances which is 74% of the total interest income. The main contributive portfolios were overdraft, term loans and personal loans. The Debt instruments which mainly comprises of Government Treasury Bills, Bonds and other Foreign Currency Sovereign Bonds brought the major portion of interest income earned from the investment portfolio which stood at Rs. 65.7 billion.

In the meantime, interest expenses declined by 2% to Rs. 149.3 billion in line with the improvement in the CASA ratio to 36% from 35% (2020) and repricing the deposits at lower rates. The inverse movement in interest income and interest expense positively contributed to Net Interest Income (NII) of the Bank and NII increased by 49% to Rs. 111.3 billion YoY.

 

Non- Fund Based Income

Non-fund-based income of the Bank grew by 42% YoY basis and the main contributors were fee and commission income and exchange income. Fee and Commission income has shown a sizable growth owing to a flourishing trend reported towards digital banking channels. Suitably, transactional banking related fee and commission income has formed a major portion of fee and commission income reporting 69% of the fee and commission income. During the period under review, an exchange gain of Rs. 9.2 billion was also reported.

 

Impairment Charges for Loans and Advances and Other Financial Instruments

Impairment charges for loans and advances for the period amounted to Rs. 35.4 billion bringing the loan to impairment provision reserve ratio to 6%. NPA ratio stood at 4.5% against 4.8% reported by end 2020. Nevertheless, in calculating the impairment charge, the Bank always follows a prudential approach; given the high degree of uncertainty and extraordinary circumstances in the short-term economic conditions mainly caused by the continuous disruptions to businesses. The Bank made an additional expected loss provision using management overlays on identified risk elevated industries.

 

Individually Significant Customers were thoroughly assessed for their repayment capacity irrespective of the moratorium or concessions they enjoyed due to the Covid-19 situation and necessary provisions were made along with the independent review. Consequently, the provision made for stage III customers escalated by Rs.19.7 billion (19%) and provision for Stage II customers increased by Rs.3.7 billion (32%).

 

The Bank has considerable exposure to investments in foreign currency denominated sovereign instruments by way of Sri Lanka Development Bonds and International Sovereign Bonds. As per the regulatory and Accounting Standards requirements a significant amount of provision amounting to Rs.  8.3 billion was made for investments in aforesaid instruments accounting the impact of sovereign downgrade. 

 

 

 

Operating Expenses

The operating expenses of Rs. 41.7 billion consists of personnel costs, assets maintenance, deposit insurance and other overhead expenses. The increment of 26% by Rs. 8.6 billion reported in operating expenses in line with the increase in personnel expenses due to the revision of salary scales according to the collective agreement, absorption of Trainee Staff Assistants to the permanent cadre and provision made for post-retirement benefit plans.  Other expenses settled at Rs. 12.6 billion for the year with a 18% upward, backed by an increase in deposit insurance premium due to growth in deposit base, upturn in office administration and establishment expenses which includes special transport arrangements for staff and expenses made in relation to Covid-19 related special safety measures at the Bank’s premises. However, the Bank’s cost to income ratio of 32% shows prudent and effective cost management mechanisms adopted by the management to maintain the cost escalation in line with revenue growth.  

Tax Expenses

VAT on financial services which is charged based on the value addition made by the financial services has a direct relationship to the growth in PBT.  That’s being the case, the growth of 80% reported in operating profits, the VAT on financial services also increased to Rs.9.0 billion with the 65% YoY growth.

 

Although the income tax expenses reported in the Income statement is Rs. 5.6 billion after the adjustments made for deferred tax, the total income tax payment which will be paid for the year of assessment accounts to Rs. 10.3 billion.

 

 

Financial Position –

Loans and Advances

During the period the Bank’s total assets grew by 27% and reached Rs. 3.8 trillion, preserving its industry leadership. The key contributive factor is growth in loans and the investment book which denotes about 93% of the assets of the Bank. The Bank’s gross loan book surpassed the Rs. 2.0 trillion mark during the year 2020 and now stands at Rs. 2.6 trillion reporting a 22% growth during the period under concern mainly backed by growth in overdrafts, term loans and personal loans. The lending to private sector grew by 9% during the year and the Bank continued to extend its support towards business revival. Focusing more on maintaining the portfolio quality and with a view to addressing non performing facilities being transferred to hardcore facilities, the Bank setup a Business Revival unit. The Bank Maintains adequate coverage for the expected losses and the provision reserve built so far covers the 6% of the total loan book for expected losses.

 

Deposit Base

The Bank’s deposit base during the year has increased to Rs. 2.9 trillion with a 16% YoY growth and 77% of the Deposit base comprises of local currency deposits. The Balance 21% which denotes foreign currency deposits stood at Rs. 613.2 billion as of end 2021. BoC is the market leader in foreign currency remittances and during this year the foreign currency deposit base grew by 10%. Current and Saving deposit (CASA) base which generates funds at low cost represents 36%.

Key Performance Indicators

Return on Assets (ROA) ratio of the Bank stood at 1.3% while reporting a 21.0% Return on Equity ratio. Both these ratios improved from the previous year attributable to the increase in profit.

The key regulatory ratio of the Banking industry; Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) was maintained well above the regulatory norms and the Bank always strives to maintain adequate buffers on all its regulatory norms to absorb unforeseen risk factors. The Tier I Capital and Total Capital ratio stood at 13.1% and 16.8% respectively as of end December 2021, both of which were above the regulatory norms. Despite cash flow deferments in loan installments, the Bank was able to maintain a better trade -off between the liquid assets and its liabilities. All liquidity ratios were maintained on safe zone.

  

Recognitions earned amidst challenges

Though having to operate in the face of many headwinds the Bank of Ceylon continued to be recognized locally and internationally and is the highest ranked local bank and is among the Top 1000 Banks listed by the Banker Magazine UK for the year 2021. Beyond that, the Bank was adjudged as the Banker of the year in Sri Lanka by the renowned global scale magazine; “The Banker”

 

Bank of Ceylon has also continued to be ranked as the most valuable Banking Brand for many consecutive years by the Brand Finance Lanka increasing its Brand Value by 13% over the previous year. Locally also the Bank was recognized on the stage for its untiring efforts to do the best; at CA Sri Lanka Annual Report Completion for the year 2020, BOC won the award for the State Sector winner, three awards were won at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2021 for Best Disclosures on Value Creation Model, Best Integrated Report – State owned Enterprises and one of the 10 Best Integrated Reports of 2020. Also, the Bank was adjudged one of the top 10 winners in Best Management Practices, in the Best Management Practices Company Awards 2022- Back to Business in the New Normal by the Institute of Chartered Professional Managers Sri Lanka.

 

During the year Fitch Ratings (SL) has assigned the credit rating of AA- (lka) to Bank of Ceylon and reaffirmed the same in the Month of July 2021. The rating assigned by the ICRA Lanka also reaffirmed at SL (AAA) with negative outlook.

 

Supporting the community

The Bank participated with the Ministry of Health in establishing the “1390 COVID-19 Home Based Care Centre” for the COVID-19 infected patients who are being treated at their home. This dedicated call center has helped many of the COVID-19 patients of the country and is truly praised as another timely initiative by BoC.

 

 

Continues to thrive with determined effort

BoC network consists of 646 branches (including limited service branches) and 1,400 ATMs, CRMs and CDMs across the country.  During the period our CRM network has expanded by 104 more machines facilitating the growing demand for digital channels.

 

Doing business under “new normalcy” being well digested into its DNA now, the Bank will focus more on expanding its digital and virtual delivery channels while continue to strive towards achieving more efficacy in all its banking services. The Bank is optimistic on the future and hope economic revival and stability to return back soon in the near future owing to the proactive measures adopted to overcome the obstacles caused by the pandemic and related pressures to the economy.

 

In line with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) initiative to encourage inward remittances to the country, Bank of Ceylon joined the initiative to promote the “Lanka Remit” mobile app that was developed by Lanka Clear Ltd.

In appreciation of the Bank’s prompt response, the Bank of Ceylon was presented with a special plaque by the Chief Guest, Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development Namal Rajapaksa and CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal at the inaugurating ceremony held at the Central Bank. The Bank’s General Manager Mr.K.E.D. Sumanasiri accepted the token of appreciation on behalf of the Bank of Ceylon. 

Being the country’s prime Bank, and the leader Inward Remittances, BOC believes it can add value to this initiative through its operational capacity and the ability to reach larger number of customers, from all-walks-of-life, who would be benefitted from this timely initiative.

 

 

 

With the aim to provide added convenience along digital banking, the Bank of Ceylon moved its Chenkaladi branch to its new location recently within the heart of the Chenkaladi town. The ceremony took place with the patronage of the Bank’s Assistant General Manager Eastern Province Mr. W.M.A. Wanigasekara. Bank of Ceylon Chenkaladi Branch has been in the forefront in providing the customers of the region through financial assistance to uplift their socio-economic wellbeing. With the relocation the branch enhanced convenience of banking to its customers with spacious and more organized ambiance and extended digital banking services. Operations Manager Eastern Province Mr. KKC.S De Silva, Area Manager Mr. A.Pratheepan, Retired Assistant General Manager Northern Province Mr.M.J. Prabaharan and Divisional Secreaty Eravur Pattru Mr K. Thanapalasingam attended the ceremony. The Manager Chenkalady Branch Mr. S. Shanmugaprathab and the staff officiated the ceremony.

BOC Chenkaladi is connected with every other BOC branch across the country, hence customers have the privilege of carrying out banking transactions to any part of the country through the Chenkaladi branch. The branch’s ATM machine will enable customers to transact around 24 hours all 365 days. The Branch also offer a wide array of banking services to its customers inclusive of deposit products such as current and local or foreign currency savings/ Fixed Deposit accounts and investment plans and retail loan products and special Development loans schemes such as Divi Udana loan scheme. Customers can also avail themselves of Debit or Credit cards and international money transfer/remittances services. Customers of Chenkaladi branch can also register themselves for digital banking services such as BOC Smart online banking, B-APP mobile banking and SmaprtPay QR scan mobile app to conduct daily banking transactions with convenience.

 

Bank of Ceylon (BOC), the NO.1 Bank in the country, successfully launched a “BOC Fuel card” partnering with ‘MasterCard international’ to Sri Lankan business community and the general public. Sri Lanka’s No.1 Banking brand associated with attributes of trust and credibility, extensive branch reach, unmatched network of customer contact points, initiated this move as a part of its digital road map aimed to assist the Government’s plan to empower the nation through digital Inclusivity.

BOC Fuel top up card aimed at customer convenience comes bundled with many unique features.  User friendliness and easy to access are the main attributes coined into this top up card. This card is offered to both individual and business clients including Non-BOC customers.

The card owner can decide on the timely fuel requirement for the stipulated period and accordingly “top up” the card account through any BOC CDM/ CRM, over the counter or thorough an online transfer from any bank account. Further, BOC customers have the facility to arrange fund transfers with their respective account by having a standing order to top up the card that can effortlessly be placed via Smart Online Banking.  Normal convenience that comes with ‘cards’ associate with top up card as well. The card cannot be used in merchant points except in fuel stations for fuel. This “top up” BOC Fuel card does not facilitate cash withdrawal and the facility comes with a nominal fuel surcharge levy.

Anyone desires to obtain this top up card only required to fill a simple information capturing form and obtain a card instantly without any waiting or going through a long-waited approval process.

BOC fuel top up card designed to be a very practical and more beneficial to customers who faced the hassle in managing their fuel expenses. The card is offered to corporate entities, fleet operators and individuals to add convenience in their daily operations. BOC fuel card presents a methodical plan that will solve many unseen fuel expenses that could occur. Covid – 19, Pandemic set up impacted many individuals and companies to manage their fuel consumption prudently to sensibly manage their finances.

BOC

You now have the opportunity to deposit your valid foreign currency notes into a bank account or convert them into Rupees, for which you will be given a grace period of up to the 5th of July 2022 by the Government!

 

Bank of Ceylon yet again sets a record, with over Rs.153,460 million worth of transactions performed during the New Year season 2022, within our very own ATM/CDM and CRM network. As we continue to take the lead in the journey towards digitalization, with the aim of changing the banking and financial landscape, We take this opportunity to greatly appreciate our customers for the trust and loyalty they have placed with the bank. We promise to continue and offer our unwavering support and service to the nation for the many years to come.

Considering the convenience of our overseas customers, Bank of Ceylon is now onboard to provide an efficient and reliable customer service through our International Customer Service Support Unit.

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