Banking

EditorNovember 14, 2017
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5min220

The festive season is upon us and more than 200 exciting brands have signed on to offer incredible discounts to Commercial Bank’s Credit and Debit cardholders, over the next six weeks.

Valid till end December 2017,these offers cover holidays at prominent hotels and resorts around the country, overseas vacation packages and shopping at some of the Sri lanka’s most popular clothing, shoes, jewellery, accessories, cosmetics, sportswear, and homeware outlets.

Discounts on payment by Commercial Bank Credit cards range from 20% to 55% and from 10% to 50% on Debit cards, for shopping on specific days during the promotion, with some retail outlets offering discounts on two to four days and others for periods of up to 16 days.

Participating retailers and brands this year include United Colors of Benetton, Urban Trends, Fashion Gate Pvt Ltd, Steel Blue, 7 Stories Ranjanas, Aditi, Amante (MAS Brands), Diliganz, Genelle Shoes & Bags, House of Fashion, Midnight Divas, Skechers, The Face Shop, TFO, Selyn Handloom, Cotton Collection, Leather Collection, Plus Collection, Kids Lands (Pvt) Ltd, Galleria, Nike, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger, Mango, Fossil, Mother Care, Crocs, Giordano, Splash, Pepe Jeans, Warehouse, Bata, Dilly & Carlo, Hi Life, Jocky, Samanmal Traders, Ashee Collection, Aurora, Choice Park, Karat, Cool Kidz, Mangala Tex, Molly Boulevard, Reechillie, Ruth Styles, Supul Collection, Sunimal’s, Fashion Bug, Haamaa, Kreations, Prasad fashion, Prasad Textile, Cloud 7, DI Leather, Embark, London Stores, Nimosa, Rickway , Brand Warehouse, CIB Shopping, Dress Factory, Glory Swimwear, Hiru Qlo Fashion Unlimited, IDEAL Exclusive, Mondy, New Sriyani Dress Point, Rainbow Clothing, Ramona’s, Saree Mandir, Shirtworks, Crocodile, Softwave, Wijaya Saree Mandir, Romafour, Vol Square, Sarathchandra Textile, The Kids Warehouse, Kids Hub, Adidas, Envoy, Hameedia, Signature, The Raymond Shop, Cool Planet, Double XL, Basics, Kamsins, Much More, RV Fashions, The Outlet Stores, Beverly Street, DRESSMO, Spring & Summer, Andhum Andhum, Chamathkara Clothing, DSI, Arrow, Aurelia, Clarks, Jessica, Puma, Reebok, US Polo Assn, ESKÉ Woman, Forum, Priyantha Tex, Triumph, Velona, and Avirate for clothing.

Partner jewellery and accessory retailers include Raja Jewellers, Jewel Laurel, RLJ Jewellery, Turret, Ravi Jewellers, Devi Jewellery, Mallika Hemachandra, Swarnamahal Jewellers, Muthukaruppan Chettiar Jewellers, New Saravanas Jewellers, Nileka Jewellery, Aminra Collection, Fior Drissage, Chamathkara Jewellery, Vogue Jewellers, Glitteray.com, Fashionmarket.lk, LuvEsence, and The Parfumerie.

Zero interest instalment holiday packages and plans are offered in collaboration with Aitken Spence Travels, BG Air Services, Classic Travel, Continents & Oceans, Crystal Travels & Tours, Dream Holidays, Gabo Travels, Hayleys Travels, Holiday Plan DMC (Pvt) Ltd, Hemas Travels, Jetwing Holidays, Mackinnons Travels, NKAR, Rameca Travel & Leisure, Spartan Travels Pvt Ltd and Travel7.

Sheri Louise, Wickramarachi, Comfort World, Hants, Neeliyas, VLCC, Yamaha Music Center, Celcius, Glory Fitness and CIB Curtains too will be offering discounts on Combank cards.

Besides offering the ideal shopping spree opportunity to buy gifts for the festive season, and a chance to embark on exciting holidays, these promotions significantly enhance the benefits already offered by ‘Comdeals,’ a programme which provides value addition to Commercial Bank Cardholders through discounts at a number of major retail outlets in the country and 0% easy payment schemes for Credit Cardholders, the Bank said. Commercial Bank Cardholders are also eligible to participate in global promotions carried out by Visa and MasterCard.

Commercial Bank is also the first bank to offer loyalty rewards for both credit and debit card holders under its Max Loyalty Rewards scheme, and was a pioneer in extending promotional discount offers, which were traditionally only offered for credit cards to its debit cards.

Commercial Bank is the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for seven years consecutively, and operates a network of 256 branches and 700 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank has won more than 25 international and local awards in 2016 and 2017 and has over the years received multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s Best Bank, Best Trade Bank, Strongest Bank and Most Respected Bank from a number of local and international institutions and publications.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets, Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon, the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake and Italy, where the Bank operates its own money transfer service.


EditorNovember 14, 2017
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8min260
  • Loan book grows to Rs 707.4 bn; deposits to Rs 818.6 bn.
  • Shareholder funds cross Rs 100 bn. for first time
  • Bank’s direct taxes for first 9 months of 2017 amount to Rs. 8.043 bn.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has reported profit of Rs 19.718 billion before VAT and NBT on financial services for the nine months ending 30th September 2017, a growth of 20.25% on strong operational gains and tight control of expenditure.

Profit before tax grew by 16.88% to Rs 16.232 billion, amidst an increase in the VAT rate on financial services from 11% to 15%. Profit after tax for the nine months was up 15.01% to Rs 11.675 billion, the country’s benchmark private bank said in a filing with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

Gross income for the period at Rs 84.568 billion reflected an improvement of Rs 17.700 billion or 26.47% over the first nine months of 2016, with interest income growing by 30.03% to Rs 75.669 billion. Interest expenses increased to Rs 47.427 billion growing by 39.75% principally due to an increased demand for fixed deposits in the review period, resulting in net interest income growing by 16.44% to Rs 28.242 billion.

Fee and commission income increased by 28.67% to Rs 7.330 billion and as a result net fees and commissions made a significant contribution, increasing by 29.03% to Rs 6.151 billion.

Commenting on the Bank’s performance at the end of the third quarter, Commercial Bank Chairman Mr Dharma Dheerasinghe said the Bank had restricted the growth of expenses to 6.88% – just Rs 949.114 million more than that of the corresponding period of last year. “We continue to improve the quality of our loan book leading to further reductions in our NPL ratios and focussed on growing volumes in core business areas,” he said.

Commercial Bank Managing Director Mr Jegan Durairatnam noted that the Bank ended the nine months with capital ratios that were substantially higher than those required under Basel III which came in to effect in July this year. He also disclosed that the Bank’s capital funds stood at over Rs. 90 billion and hence was well above the Rs 20 billion specified under the minimum capital standards announced in a recent regulation for licensed banks in Sri Lanka.

Commercial Bank’s assets grew by Rs 86.785 billion or 8.57% over the nine months to Rs 1.099 Trillion as at 30th September 2017. The increase over the preceding 12 months was Rs 145.687 billion at a monthly average of more than Rs 12 billion, reflecting YoY growth of 15.28%.

 

Net loans and receivables from customers stood at Rs 707.431 billion at the end of the review period, recording an increase of Rs 91.413 billion or 14.84% since end December 2016, an average growth in excess of Rs 10 billion per month. The loan book’s growth since September 2016 was Rs 132.961 billion or 23.14%, at a monthly average of more than Rs 11 billion over the preceding 12 months.

The Bank continued to make noteworthy progress in reducing impairment charges for loans and other losses during the nine months reviewed from Rs 1.804 billion to Rs 1.494 billion, an improvement of 17.14%. This was made possible by enhancements in the quality of its loan book, as evidenced by reduced NPL ratios, the Bank said. The Bank’s gross and net NPL ratios stood at 2.02% and 1% respectively at 30th September 2017, from 2.18% and 1.09% at end December 2016, and 2.49% and 1.26% a year ago.

Total deposits of the Bank grew by Rs 79.001 billion or 10.68% since end December 2016 to Rs 818.564 billion as at 30th September 2017, reflecting average monthly growth of Rs 8.778 billion. Growth of the deposit base over the preceding 12 months was Rs 108.107 billion at an average of Rs 9 billion per month, recording YoY growth of 15.22%.

A drop in exchange profits as a result of a drop in swap premiums during the review period as against an increase in swap premiums last year, resulted in total operating income growing by 12.37% to Rs 35.962 billion. Net operating income however increased by 14.14% to Rs 34.467 billion through the improved impairment charges owing to lower NPL ratios.

Shareholder funds crossed the Rs 100 billion mark for the first time to Rs 102.519 billion as at 30th September 2017, an increase of Rs 24.165 billion or 30.84%, consequent to the rights issue of shares, a reversal of mark to market losses on the Bank’s Available for Sale (AFS) portfolio and the profits of the nine months. The growth of shareholder funds over the preceding 12 months was Rs 26.756 billion or 35.31% YoY.

The Bank’s earnings per share value for the nine months was Rs 12.30, reflecting an improvement of 9.82%. Net assets value per share post rights issue totalled Rs 103.02, an increase of 17.11% since December 2016. Return on assets before tax was 2.06% and return on equity 17.26%. The Bank’s interest margin improved marginally to 3.58% as against 3.47% for the whole of 2016.

In terms of Capital Adequacy Ratios, the Bank’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio at 12.30% as at 30th September 2017 was almost double the 6.25% required under Basel III. The Tier I Capital Ratio (Basel III requirement – 7.75%) was 12.30% and the Total Capital Ratio (Basel III requirement – 11.75%) was 16.24%.

At Group level, Commercial Bank, its subsidiaries and associates reported profit before tax of Rs 16.406 billion for the nine months reviewed, an improvement of 17.13%. Profit after tax for the period was up 15.49% to Rs 11.774 billion.

Sri Lanka’s largest and most profitable private bank and the country’s most-awarded financial institution, Commercial Bank plays a significant role in the national economy. The Bank accounted for 4.65% of the total market capitalisation of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) with a market capitalisation of US$ 887 million at end of September 2017. The Bank is the largest lender in Sri Lanka to SMEs, having disbursed Rs 952 billion to the sector over the past five years, and channelled 17.82% of the country’s export volumes and 8.36% of its import volumes during 2016.

Commercial Bank operates a network of 256 branches and 700 ATMs in Sri Lanka and has won more than 25 international and local awards in 2016 and 2017. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets, Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon, the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake and Italy, where the Bank operates its own money transfer service.


EditorNovember 13, 2017
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5min280

Reiterating its value as the ‘Bank With The Heart’, Seylan Bank has enhanced the offerings of ‘Rewards Scheme (Thilina Sayura)’ to enable Non-Resident Foreign Currency & Resident Foreign Currency account holders with definite cash rewards along with many other benefits during one’s special moments in life.

Understanding the aspirations of customers and the need of timely endowments, the Bank has realigned the mechanics of ‘Thilina Sayura’ to position itself as the best reward scheme in the banking segment that values NRFC and RFC accountholder’s savings whilst indulging significant events with special rewards.

All NRFC, RFC Savings account holders with a minimum balance of US$ 500 or (equivalent in any other designated currency) in savings or fixed deposits NRFC/RFC accounts now have the opportunity to avail the range of benefits offered through the Seylan Rewards scheme. Accountholder’s with a minimum balances between US$25,000 – $50,000 will become eligible for a full day (one overnight) stay at selected star class hotels on a full-board basis for two persons. Likewise, account holders with a balance of over US$50,000 will become entitled for a two night’s stay on a full-board basis for two persons. The bank has also extended this hotel offer to customers who invest in Seylan Bank’s Special Foreign Currency Investment Deposit Account (SFIDA).In addition, NRFC & RFC account holders will also be reimbursed the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment’s (SLBFE) charges up to Rs. 10,000 at the time of departure for overseas employment.

Further, Thilina Sayura account holders can avail up to Rs. 40,000 at marriage, up to Rs. 35,000 during a birth of a child, and up to Rs. 25,000 during cataract surgery at a private hospital and become eligible to claim up to Rs. 100,000 in the event of a surgery. Customers can also transfer their existing NRFC, RFC or Fixed Deposits to Seylan Bank to avail the unique benefits offered through this scheme.

Commenting on the proposition, Tilan Wijeyesekera, Deputy General Manager, Retail Banking at Seylan Bank stated “Seylan Thilina Sayura was designed not only to offer cash rewards and benefits during one’s special moments in life but also to add value to the savings of migrant workers hard earned money and make their savings work harder for them. Understanding the different segments and income levels amongst the migrant workforce and the need for the correct support during special occasions, we conceptualized Thilina Sayura to provide that extra helping hand when they need it the most”

Customers can access their NRFC/RFC accounts across the world through any VISA accredited ATM or merchant by using their VISA debit card. Seylan Internet Banking allows customers to view balances, transactions and give instructions to the bank, while the balance in one’s NRFC/RFC account is freely convertible to any other designated foreign currency of one’s choice.

Furthermore, Seylan Bank has gone the extra mile to enable migrant workers to contact the bank without any cost. Customers can now connect with the bank through the WhatsApp hotline +94772008888, the Bank’s live chat agents via the website www.seylan.lk  or chat with the Bank’s Facebook messenger bot on the Seylan Bank Facebook page. Special Housing loans could also be arranged for this segment which would also help to fulfill the aspirations of the migrant workforce.


EditorNovember 10, 2017
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4min300

Adjudged ‘Best Green Bank’ and ‘Best Private Bank’ in Sri Lanka – in 2017 by top UK magazine

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been honoured on the international stage with two more prestigious awards, being adjudged ‘Best Green Bank’ and ‘Best Private Bank’ in Sri Lanka by International Finance Magazine (IFM) of the UK, which is read in over 185 countries worldwide.

The Best Green Bank award recognises the catalytic role Commercial Bank has played in promoting environmental sustainability through its lending for renewable energy projects and other initiatives that help reduce the environmental footprint of its clients, as well as the Bank’s own efforts to make its operations eco-friendly.

The International Finance Best Private Bank award is presented to the banks which have introduced innovative banking products and offer a wide range of services to its customers, regardless of size, public or private status. The assessment covers a wide spectrum of indicators including Range of services offered; Profitability; Client relationship; Innovative banking solutions; Management excellence and contribution to society; CSR; Innovation; Wealth management solutions; Net income; Global private banking assets under management and Net new assets.

“This has been a year of awards for Commercial Bank,” commented Mr Jegan Durairatnam, the Bank’s Managing Director and CEO. “The culture at Commercial Bank discourages resting on one’s laurels and instead advocates constantly looking for ways to serve our customers better. The many international and local awards we have won in 2017 affirm the importance of this approach and are a tribute to the passion and professionalism of the entire team.”

This is the second successive year that Commercial Bank has been honoured by International Finance. In 2016 the Bank was declared the ‘Best SME Bank’ in Sri Lanka by IFM for “making a significant difference and adding value, and achieving the highest standards of innovation and performance’ for Small and Medium Enterprise clients.”

Among the international banks recognised in different categories at this year’s IFM Awards are Standard Chartered Bank (in Bangladesh), MayBank (in Cambodia), Al Ahli Bank and Gulf Bank (Kuwait), Banco Nacional Ultramarino S.A. (Macau), United Bank of Africa and First Bank of Nigeria (Nigeria), Habib Bank (Pakistan), DBS Bank (Singapore) CTBC Bank (Taiwan) and Maritime Bank and Sacombank (Vietnam).

Commercial Bank operates a network of 256 branches and 700 ATMs in Sri Lanka and has won more than 25 international and local awards in 2016 and 2017.  Earlier this year the Bank was named Sri Lanka’s Best Bank by the USA based Global Finance; was adjudged the ‘Best Domestic Bank’ and the ‘Best Digital Bank’ in Sri Lanka by Asiamoney; was recognised as the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia; the Bank’s website was adjudged the best in Sri Lanka’s financial sector at the inaugural SLT Zero One Awards and the Bank was ranked among the Top 1000 Banks of the World for the seventh consecutive year. The Bank also won two awards from International Banker – UK in 2017, being adjudged ‘Best Commercial Bank of the Year’ and receiving the award for ‘Best Innovation in Retail Banking.’

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets, Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon, the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake and Italy, where the Bank operates its own money transfer service.


EditorNovember 10, 2017
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4min360

Thursday, 9th November 2017, Colombo: DFCC Bank PLC launched “DFCC Premier Go”, the first ever premier banking app in the industry, exclusively for its Premier customers, at a special launch event held on November 2, 2017 at DFCC Bank’s Executive Lounge.

Introducing the Premier Go logo

DFCC Premier Go is yet another revolutionary feature in DFCC Bank’s mobile banking platform, developed by Synapsys; DFCC’s Fintech subsidiary that has been at the forefront of digital innovations in the banking industry having developed products such as Lanka Money Transfer and the Vardhana Virtual Wallet which was launched last year.

 

The unique feature of the Premier Go App is that it enables customers to contact their Relationship Manager at the click of a button via video conferencing. In the event that a face-to-face meeting is required, this App can assist with scheduling appointments with the Relationship Manager at a time convenient to the customer. They are also able to chat with the Relationship Manager and leave messages for follow-up after working hours, providing them with access to DFCC Banking services anytime and anywhere in the world.

 

In addition, this App enables the customer to be informed about all their financial information and transactions related to their DFCC Premier account in a secure manner, including transactions done, balances, etc. Information is updated in real time, thus, all their personal financial management information is available at the click of a button and they will also receive alerts and notifications on any changes enabling them to make well-informed and timely decisions. Furthermore, they can also enjoy several transactional features and learn about customised promotional offers.

Customers trying out the Premier Go app for the first time

“DFCC Bank’s Premier Banking service offers an exclusive service to customers and the DFCC Premier Go app is an extension of this personalized and relational service,” said Lakshman Silva – CEO, DFCC Bank. “DFCC Premier Go is based on the same premise of service we offer in person at our branches – providing a customised experience, expert financial advice and guidance, and a global outlook that enables strategic financial investment to our premier customers.”

Using the DFCC Premier Go App is also a sustainable solution that will significantly cut down on paper communications – helping the environment as well as increasing speed, efficiency. The App is created for both android and iPhones and is available for download on Google Play and the App Store.


EditorNovember 9, 2017
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1min450

Seylan Bank relocated its Siyamalanduwa and Kottawa branches to a more spacious and convenient location, to offer customers enhanced banking convenience.

Mr.Chithral De Silva, Deputy General Manager, Branches at Seylan Bank PLC opening the Siyambalanduwa branch.

The Siyambalanduwa and Kottawa branches were ceremoniously opened under the patronage of Mr. Chithral De Silva, Deputy General Manager, Branches at Seylan Bank PLC and Mr. Delvin Pereira, Deputy General Manager, Consumer Finance. Located at No: 360/2A, High Level road, Pannipitiya, Kottawa, the Kottawa branch creates a warm and customer friendly ambience in line with other Seylan Bank branches island-wide. Meanwhile, The Seylan Bank Siyambalanduwa Branch, was relocated at opposite the Petrol Station, Pottuvil Road, Siyambalanduwa.

The occasions were graced by Seylan Bank officials, distinguished guests and customers from around the Siyambalanduwa and Kottawa area.


EditorNovember 8, 2017
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2min480

In line with its commitment to providing the highest levels of service to its customers, Sampath Bank commissioned a drive-through automated teller machine (ATM) at its Colombo Super Branch premises located at 103, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 07. The ATM was ceremonially unveiled by Mr. Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC, in the presence of members of the Bank’s Corporate Management, on 7th November.

The drive-through ATM provides Sampath Bank customers with a host of services including cash withdrawals, Cardless Cash facility, credit card settlements, utility bill payments, mobile cash facilities, balance inquires and many more. Customers of other banks too can withdraw cash at this ATM using their American Express, Cirrus, Diner’s Club, Mastercard, Maestro, Union Pay and Visa credit and debit cards.

Located securely within the branch premises, it provides an added layer of safety and convenience as patrons of the ATM can drive in through a dedicated entry driveway and access its services from within their vehicles, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This eliminates the need to park one’s vehicle, walk up to the ATM, complete the transaction and get back to the vehicle.

The new ATM joins Sampath Bank’s network of 387 ATMs around the island, which includes Sri Lanka’s first banking robot that works in the form of a humanoid teller that was unveiled at the Bank’s Head Quarters branch recently. Sampath Bank has strengthened this network further by joining LankaPay, the largest ATM network in the country, which enables customers to transact at over 3,000 ATMs island wide.


EditorNovember 8, 2017
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6min360

Nine Months Profit After Tax grows YoY from Rs 101.4 mn to Rs 266.8 mn

Having recently doubled its capital to over Rs 10 billion, Amãna Bank reinforced the confidence of its shareholders by tripling its Q3 2017 Profit Before Tax to reach Rs 186.1 million as against Rs 62.9 million of Q3 2016. For the nine months ending 30 September 2017, the Bank recorded a Profit Before Tax of Rs 397.0 million showcasing a significant YoY growth of 181% from Rs 140.9 million achieved in the corresponding period of 2016. Further the Profit After Tax for the same period grew by 163% YoY to reach Rs 266.8 million from Rs 101.4 million achieved a year ago. Despite doubling the Bank’s number of shares as a result of the Rights Issue in July, the Bank was successful in recording a 119% YoY growth in its EPS whilst Net Assets Per Share stood at Rs 4.56 against the Market Price of Rs 3.80 as at 30 September 2017.

The Bank continued to display strong momentum in its top line performance with Financing Income crossing the Rs 4 billion mark to achieve a YoY growth of 38%, which contributed towards the Bank recording a Net Financing Income of Rs 1.95 billion reflecting a 40% YoY growth.  The Bank’s Net Fee and Commission Income recorded an 18.5% growth to reach Rs 170.8 million. Net Operating Income of the Bank after impairment provisions reached Rs 2.21 billion reflecting a healthy growth of 26.6% from the corresponding period of 2016. The increase in Total Operating Expenses was maintained within 3.6% when compared with 2016. As a result the Bank posted an Operating Profit Before VAT & NBT of Rs 678.4 million which was an increase of 154% from Rs 266.7 million recorded an year ago.

Having started the year with Rs 54.3 billion in Total Assets, the Bank’s asset base driven by the recent Rights Issue grew impressively to close the quarter at Rs 63.6 billion. Customer Advances and Customer Deposits showcased noteworthy improvements closing at LKR 41.2 billion and LKR 49.7 billion respectively. Amãna Bank’s Financing Margin improved to 4.0% from 3.6% recorded at the end of 2016. In addition, the Bank continued to maintain a healthy Gross Non Performing Advances Ratio of 1.56% well below the industry average reflecting the Bank’s focus on portfolio quality. Net Non Performing Advances Ratio at the close of Q3 stood at 0.70%.

In addition to the capital infusion of Rs 4.75 billion through the Rights Issue, the Bank’s reserves showcased a further accumulation of Rs 865.9 million mainly by increasing its revaluation reserve, as the Shareholders’ Funds closed at Rs 11.4 billion.

Commenting on the Bank’s performance to date, Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Azmeer stated  “I am pleased to witness the Bank’s successful performance during the first three quarters of 2017, growing on the momentum gathered in the beginning of the year for which I am thankful to the shareholders, customers and staff. This promising upward trend is owing to the revenue growth achieved by the Bank demonstrating the unique value proposition of its model whilst gaining widespread acceptance. The avenues of growth, reflects our focus of being a Retail and SME Bank as well as adapting to new technological innovations in line with the Bank’s 5 year strategic plan. God willing, I am confident that this momentum will continue during the last quarter.”

Amãna Bank is the country’s first and only Licensed Commercial Bank to operate in complete harmony with the globally growing non-interest based banking model. With the mission of Enabling Growth and Enriching Lives, the Bank reaches out to its customers through a growing network of 28 branches and 4000+ ATM access points and has introduced an array of customer conveniences such as Internet & Mobile Banking, Debit Card with SMS alerts, Online Account Opening, 365 Day Banking, Saturday Banking, Extended Banking Hours, 24×7 Cash Deposit Machines and Banking Units Exclusively for Ladies.

The Bank was recognized as the Best ‘Up-and-Comer’ Islamic Bank of the World by ‘Global Finance Magazine’ at the 18th Annual World’s Best Banks Award Ceremony held in Washington DC, USA. The Bank was also bestowed the coveted title ‘Islamic Finance Entity of the Year’ at the inaugural Islamic Finance Forum of South Asia Awards Ceremony.

Amãna Bank PLC is a stand-alone institution licensed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange with Jeddah based IDB Group being the principal shareholder having a 29.97% stake of the Bank. The IDB Group is a ‘AAA’ rated multilateral development financial institution with a capital base of over USD 150 Billion which has a membership of 57 countries. Fitch Ratings, in October 2017, affirmed Amãna Bank’s National Long Term Rating of BB(lka) with a Stable Outlook. Amãna Bank does not have any subsidiaries, associates or affiliated institutions representing the Bank.


EditorNovember 8, 2017
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4min360

Colombo-based Fortunaglobal (Pvt) Ltd, a leader in omni-channel banking software solutions for Sri Lanka’s FinTech sector has started rolling out its software (soft) token solution to local banks. Offering up a higher level of security that is time based, this solution is a better option when compared to the more expensive hardware tokens.

Part of Fortunaglobal’s Affluence omni-channel banking and financial services platform, which is widely recognized as being the benchmark for Sri Lanka’s FinTech sector, the Affluence Soft Token is a software-based security token that generates an One Time Password (OTP).

For banks and financial institutions that are looking to introduce additional layers of security, especially for overseas clients who significantly benefit from a short-lived OTP via SMS, this solution offers a great relief from a major pain point. Further, easy integration, via standard APIs, with any third party solution is an added advantage. Importantly, the solution works seamlessly with any bank’s existing Internet Banking or Mobile Banking solution.

A replacement for hardware tokens, this solution provides a distinct OTP for each activity, from a shared secret key that is unique to the mobile application installed on one’s smart device.  Affluence Soft Tokens add even greater levels of security to Affluence-based banking transactions since, even if an user’s traditional password is stolen or compromised, attackers cannot gain access without the OTP, which changes after a set period of time.  The benefits of the Affluence Soft Token also include its flexibility and ease of use, while also being very cost effective in comparison to the more expensive hardware tokens. An OTP can also be generated offline, without the requirement of any sort of network coverage.

Further, the Affluence Soft Token also offers numerous other features, from secure transactions with two factor authentications, to allowing end-users to securely generate the OTP from their desired mobile device, as well as giving them the option to revoke and re-activate Soft Tokens using the same simple activation process. It even provides enhanced compatibility with a wide range of mobile devices.

Commenting, Fortunaglobal CEO Suren Kohombange said, “Not only is our Affluence Soft Token solution cost effective compared to more expensive hardware tokens, it also offers greater security. At the same time, it continues to be flexible and simple to use. All the hallmarks of a revolutionary product that can help banks and financial service companies immeasurably.”

With the backbone of an unparalleled team of experienced technologists, consultants, researchers and designers buoyed by a resilient passion focused on treading beyond the norms of traditional sales and marketing parameters, Fortunaglobal has, for over 10 years, guaranteed a real-time knowledge of customer behaviors and trends, delivering the next generation in consumer-driven omni-channel digital platforms.

Fortunaglobal’s Affluence suite of B2B and B2C digital banking solutions currently provides next generation services via an omni-channel platform that fast tracks and evolves the delivery of banking and financial services, while at the same time simplifying them for banking staff and end-consumers.


EditorNovember 7, 2017
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9min340

DFCC Bank continued to demonstrate positive momentum across business in the 3rd quarter of 2017 as a rapidly emerging full service commercial bank.

Financial Performance

DFCC Bank recorded growth across all its income segments, with a 31% increase in operating income year-on-year.  The Bank’s net interest income rose by 32%, to LKR 8,228 Mn buoyed by improvements to the net interest margin from 3.3% in December 2016 to 3.6% by September 2017. In addition, the Bank’s net fee and commission income grew by 17% to LKR 1,110 Mn complemented by the growth in business volumes.

The Bank augmented its total assets by LKR 32,568 Mn (11%) and reported a 31% growth in profit before tax of LKR 4,341 Mn and a 35% growth in profit after tax of LKR 3,418 Mn, despite a backdrop of higher taxes, volatile interest rates, tight margins and intensifying competition.

The Group closed nine months as at end September 2017, with a 24% year-on-year growth in profit before tax of LKR 4,377 Mn. Group profit after tax (PAT) for 3Q declined by Rs 525 Mn against the 3Q of 2016. This is mainly due to the Bank’s higher impairment provision and increased cost due to expansion. However, over the 9-month period, the Group recorded a consolidated PAT growth of 26% amounting to LKR 3,391 Mn.

The DFCC Group comprises DFCC Bank PLC (DFCC), and its subsidiaries – Lanka Industrial Estates Limited (LINDEL), DFCC Consulting (Pvt) Limited (DCPL) and Synapsys Limited (SL), a joint venture company – Acuity Partners (Pvt) Limited (APL) and associate company – National Asset Management Limited (NAMAL).

Anchoring growth firmly on a foundation of good governance, the DFCC Group and DFCC Bank maintained capital adequacy ratios well above minimum requirements under Basel III standards which came into effect from July 2017. As at 30 September 2017, the Group’s Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio stood at 11.83% and the total capital adequacy ratio at 15.49%. DFCC Bank recorded Tier 1 and total capital adequacy ratios of 11.37% and 15.04% respectively, which is well over the minimum regulatory requirements of 7.25% and 11.25%.

DFCC Bank continued to penetrate the market by expanding its branch network to be more accessible to customers. During the nine months ended September 2017, the Bank opened twelve fully-fledged branches across the country.

This coupled together with extensive business promotions, new savings products, and investments in IT system modernisations have contributed towards expanding delivery channels and improving service deliverables.  The results of these investments are already evidenced in the lending and deposit growth as at end September 2017.  The rapid loan portfolio growth to LKR 202,676 Mn by end September 2017, was outshone by the 33% (LKR 46,657 Mn) year to date deposit growth, which swelled total deposits to LKR 187,171 Mn by end September 2017. The Bank’s low cost deposits (CASA) increased by LKR 5 Bn during the 3rd quarter bringing the CASA ratio to 17% from 16% in June 2017. This growth in particular was an outcome from the various initiatives launched by the Bank during the year, to grow this segment of deposits.

DFCC Bank continues to enjoy medium to long term concessionary credit lines which has helped the Bank to maintain low cost of funds. When considering these funding lines and the low cost deposits, the ratio improves to 26.5% in September 2017.

Against this backdrop of asset growth, the Bank’s return on assets (ROA) improved to 1.7% by September 2017 from 1.6% in December 2016, while the return on equity (ROE) increased by 17.5% to 8.7%, from 7.4% in December 2016.

Due to the prudent recovery processes implemented and close monitoring, the Bank has been able to reduce the NP ratio to 3.24% by September 2017 from 3.34% recorded in March 2017.

Due to investments in people, IT and branch expansion the Bank’s operating expenses increased to LKR 4,190 Mn. Despite this increase, the Bank has been able to maintain a cost to income ratio of 44% (without the exceptional gain).

 

Operational Performance 

DFCC Bank focuses on closely engaging with its customer base to understand and deliver according to their changing needs. In line with this, during the Quarter, DFCC Bank re-launched its minor savings product, adding value to its Junior customer base and further strengthening the product’s position as one of the leading minor savings products in the country. The product was re-launched with an exciting array of valuable gifts to provide the right inspiration for parents and children to save for the future.

In order to further drive this proposition, the Bank also conducted Vardhana Junior Seminars in 10 key locations across the country. Over 3000 students were coached in preparation for the Scholarship seminars held in collaboration with the Zonal Education Offices and these programmes proved to be significantly instrumental in adding value to all those who participated.

Upholding its commitment as a crucial partner for the exporter community in Sri Lanka, the Bank stepped forward to support the Colombo International Tea Convention held in August 2017, as a Strategic Partner. By partnering such a key event the Bank added value and growth opportunities for businesses in the Tea Industry.

DFCC Bank also continued its CSR efforts, pursuing its commitment to uplifting the standards of education in the country. DFCC Bank counts education as a key pillar in its corporate social responsibility initiatives having actively supported education over the years through various initiatives. In keeping with this, the Bank conducted an English Education programme, “Samata English” as a pilot project in the Gampaha and Kalutara areas, targeting youth between the ages of 16-22. The main objective of this project was to teach Spoken English and equip students with the knowledge required to enter into the workforce. This project was completed and a graduation ceremony was held during the quarter to recognize the achievers of this programme. The Bank received very positive feedback from the participants who expressed that their ability to speak in English with confidence has significantly increased. As a result of the success of this project, the Bank now plans to extend it to other areas across the country in the near future.

DFCC Bank also believes that staff plays an important role as ambassadors of the Bank. Therefore, during the quarter, in order to further reinforce the Bank’s vision, mission and values and engage with the Bank’s growing workforce, an internal campaign was launched updating the look and language of the values. The new concept introduced revolves around DFCCs people and accountability for living the values was deeply instilled through this initiative.

Mr Lakshman Silva took over as the CEO from Mr Arjun Fernando on 16 August 2017. Mr Silva who was the driving force behind the amazing success of DFCC Vardhana Bank in a short period of time, will use his acumen and experience to drive the Bank’s commercial banking business while continuing to promote and encourage project financing services, using expertise that DFCC has honed over six decades as one of the premier development banks in Asia.

DFCCs future outlook is positive as the Bank’s growth drivers are delivering results. The Bank’s key focus areas are enhancing operational efficiencies, strategic investments, notably in technology, IT systems and solutions and increasing our penetration into markets across the country. Thus, our optimism is reinforced over our medium-term outlook and we are set to close the financial year 2017/18 with greater value creation.

 



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