ComBank wins 5 accolades at 2019 Asian Banking & Finance awards
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon bagged five awards at the 2019 Asian Banking and Finance Awards, two in the ‘Wholesale Banking Awards’ category, two in the ‘Retail Banking Awards’ category and one in the ‘Corporate & Investment Banking Awards’ category, continuing its winning streak from the preceding year.
The Bank was adjudged ‘Domestic Technology & Operations Bank of the Year, Sri Lanka’ and ‘Domestic Trade Finance Bank of the Year, Sri Lanka’ in the Wholesale Banking Awards category, and won the awards for ‘Mobile Banking Initiative of the Year, Sri Lanka’ as well as for ‘New Consumer Lending Product of the Year, Sri Lanka’ in the Retail Banking Awards category.
In the ‘Corporate & Investment Banking Awards’ category, Commercial Bank received the ‘Debt Deal of the Year – Sri Lanka’ award for the success of its listed debenture issue of July 2018, which raised Rs 10 billion.
Commercial Bank’s victory as the ‘Domestic Technology & Operations Bank of the Year, Sri Lanka’ was attributed to its achievement of the PCI DSS standard 3.2.1; a certificate of compliance that allows the Bank to protect its payment systems from breach and theft of cardholder data. The certification was presented to the Bank after a stringent in-depth assessment by the governing body SISA Payment Security Specialists, which determined that the Bank meets the requisite security standards in the cardholder data environment. Notably, Commercial Bank is the only Sri Lankan Bank to be certified with PCI DSS version 3.2.1, which is the latest standard in this sphere.
The title of ‘Domestic Trade Finance Bank of the Year, Sri Lanka’ was awarded to the Bank for its initiative to grow the trade business and build strong consumer relationships, improve service standards and deliver innovative solutions by bringing the Trade Finance operations of the Bank under Corporate Banking. Having implemented successful strategies to achieve its targets, Commercial Bank recorded numerous achievements in 2018, such as expanding its market share of imports from 7-8% to 10-11% while maintaining an average growth of 1% in the Bank’s market share of exports.
In addition to this, the Bank also launched a new business development unit to canvass new connections aggressively. Further, as a member of Global Trade Finance Programme of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), Commercial Bank was able to gain better pricing while expanding its capacity based on credit ratings of “AAA.” The Bank maintains a worldwide correspondent bank network that exceeds 1150 spread-out over 100 countries. Nostro banking spans over 38 banks beyond 15 designated currencies. All of these factors contributed towards winning the ‘Domestic Trade Finance Bank of the Year’ award.
In the Retail Banking Awards category, the Bank received the ‘Mobile Banking Initiative of the Year, Sri Lanka’ award for ‘Flash’ – Sri Lanka’s first fully-fledged Digital Bank Account.’ The app allows thousands of active users to enjoy basic online banking facilities, and promotes their financial wellbeing through a real-time budgeting tool that aids in tracking and managing spending, and encourages savings. This breakthrough product was designed to appeal to millennials who are known to be active on social, mobile and digital media platforms; and to revolutionise the traditional banking industry.
Commercial Bank’s Pensioner’s Loan Scheme which allows retired citizens below the age of 69 to apply for up to 75% of their previous month’s pension as advances as well as to acquire loans of up to Rs. 2.5 million with a 10-year payback period won the Bank the ‘New Consumer Lending Product of the Year, Sri Lanka’ award at the prestigious event.
Recognised as a leading publication for banking and finance executives in Asia, the Asian Banking and Finance magazine evaluates the most outstanding practices and innovative strategies in Asia’s wholesale banking sector as well as banks that stand out with groundbreaking products and services in the retail banking sphere despite the various challenges their sector faces.
All submissions for the awards were judged by a committee of esteemed industry experts on the uniqueness, innovation, effectiveness, impact, and dynamism of the entered products and services, based on nominations received. Only products and services launched within the past year could be entered.
The Asian Banking and Finance Wholesale Banking Awards programme was launched in 2012, while the magazine’s Retail Banking Awards programme is in its 14th consecutive year of recognising industry game changers.
The event at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, brought together more than 300 senior executives. More than 200 Asian banks from 40 countries received awards.
The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 banks for nine years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 266 branches and 846 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank has won multiple international and local awards in 2016 and 2017 and over 40 international and local awards in 2018.
Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay PyiTaw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.