06/08/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/08/2021 00:21
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has once again been declared the 'Best Bank in Sri Lanka' at the 2021 FinanceAsia Country Awards, taking its place among global and regional giants adjudged the best domestic banks in their respective countries.
This is the 10th occasion that Commercial Bank has been bestowed this prestigious accolade by FinanceAsia, which is acknowledged as the presenter of one of the best-known and most credible sets of awards in Asia's financial services industry.
Ranked alongside Commercial Bank this year are banks of the calibre of ICBC (China), DBS (Singapore), Shinhan Bank (South Korea), Bank of China (Hong Kong), CTBC (Taiwan), HDFC Bank (India), MCB Bank (Pakistan), The City Bank (Bangladesh), Public Bank (Malaysia), Bank Central Asia (Indonesia), KBank (Thailand), Techcombank (Vietnam) and BDO Unibank (Philippines).
'We are delighted to win this important award for the 10th time, especially because it is based on an in-depth evaluation of our performance in one of the most difficult years in memory,' Commercial Bank's Managing Director Mr S. Renganathan said. 'We are also enthused by the fact that the assessment for this year's award was expanded to cover sustainability indicators as well as our response to the global pandemic.'
The FinanceAsia Country Awards are based on the respective banks' performance, encompassing key events of the year, financial results including profits, NPL ratios, provisioning, return on equity, capital adequacy ratios, total assets, loans, deposits, branch network, vision and long-term strategy, market position versus the nearest competitor, principal sources of profit, and feedback of stock market analysts.
Over the past year however, FinanceAsia says two other new trends started to make themselves felt in these awards: environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors became an essential topic of conversation, and COVID-19 accelerated the entry of retail investors into many of the region's equity markets, facilitated by advancing digitalisation.
Commenting on the awards, the magazine said: 'For the second year running, FinanceAsia's Country Awards have taken place against the backdrop of a raging pandemic. Asia's banking industry has performed remarkably well, supporting clients in tandem with government schemes and taking a conservative stance on provisioning. Some of this year's winners have had a record year and there has been a roster of sizeable and significant equity, debt and M&A deals.'
FinanceAsia added: 'During the awards pitching process, it was impressive and inspiring to hear what banks are doing to improve their own carbon footprint and help companies transition to cleaner forms of energy, better governance and societal well-being.'
Factors that contributed to Commercial Bank being adjudged the Best Bank in Sri Lanka are markers from the Bank's 2020 performance, such as Market Capitalization, Gross Income, Profit before Tax, Profit after Tax, Total Assets, Total Deposits, Gross Loans, Market Share of Deposits, Market Share of Loans and CASA Ratio.
Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC is the largest private sector commercial bank, and the third largest bank overall in Sri Lanka in terms of total assets, which stood at Rs. 1.736 Tn. (USD 9.285 Bn.) as at the end of 2020. It is the only private sector bank that has been designated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as a higher-tier Domestic Systemically Important Bank (D-SIB). The Bank accounted for approximately 10.7%, 11.2% and 11.8% of sector Loans and Advances, Deposits and Assets respectively in 2020.
The Bank's asset quality is one of the best in the industry, while its Current Accounts and Savings Accounts (CASA) made up 42.72% of total deposits in 2020, the highest among the peer banks.
Key activities in 2020 included the launch of 18 new products and services, of which six were ground breaking firsts of their kind in Sri Lanka.
Commercial Bank was one of the leading Banks in the country in providing pandemic relief to its customers. The Bank implemented its own relief schemes for different customer segments in addition to complying with Central Bank mandated concessions and reduced interest rates across all categories of loans by approximately 4% to 5% p.a. during the first half of 2020.
First published in 1996, FinanceAsia is the world's foremost information source on the Asian financial markets. Published 11 times a year in Hong Kong, the magazine provides readers with the latest financial trends, interviews, features and investigative reports. The company is owned by Haymarket Media Limited, the largest privately-owned publishing group in the UK.
Sri Lanka's first wholly carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 932 automated machines in Sri Lanka. The Bank's overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.