BOC plans new measures to increase remittances | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

BOC plans new measures to increase remittances

22 January, 2023
Chairman Ronald Perera assuming duties.  picture by Nissanka Wijeratne
Chairman Ronald Perera assuming duties. picture by Nissanka Wijeratne

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) will take new measures to woo more remittances to the bank, said the new Chairman Ronald C. Perera PC.

He told Sunday Observer Business that during his earlier tenure as the Chairman the BOC attracted over USD 4 billion annually through foreign remittances. “True there was a gap between the official and the unofficial rate for dollar remittances in Sri Lanka. This has now narrowed.”

“We now want to capitalise on this and offer something more to attract remittances and we are looking at a target of attracting over USD 4 billion per annum soon,” Perera said.

He said that the bank’s overseas branches are performing above expectations and specially the Maldivian and Chennai operations are highly profitable. “We want to expand and open one more branch in Bangalore and we are awaiting approval for this.”

In his third stint as the chairman, he said that he was pleased to see a younger staff and requested them to provide an even better service.

He said that the ‘easiest’ loan a bank can advance is for ‘housing’ as the customer’s property is mortgaged. “But I had heard earlier that the banking staff had looked at the loan seeking customers like when a criminal is taken to the CID and this is not the proper way to treat a customer.”

The Chairman said that the bank will not go to the extent of seizing property or retorting to legal action for NPL customers but will work with them through the Business revival unit and bail them out. “We can even go to the extent of advancing them another loan to recover.”

The newly appointed BOC, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Rusell Fonseka said that the Chairman knows the bank very well and his legal background would also be a tower of strength for the bank going forward.

He said that the Chairman had provided many benefits for employees during his earlier tenures.

An experienced lawyer, Perera obtained his LLB from the University of Colombo and a LLM in International Trade Law from Northumbria University. Perera was appointed as a President’s Counsel in 2012. He has served as the Chairman and a Director of the Bank of Ceylon previously as well.

Mr. Perera is an experienced lawyer with a wide practice in the original courts as well as in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He has wide experience in Civil and Criminal litigation, negotiation and drafting of commercial and transport contracts and agreements. He has specialized in Commercial Law, Banking Law, Industrial Law, Injunctions, Defamation, Election Petitions, Civil Appeals, Revision Applications, Writ Applications, and Fundamental Rights Cases. Additionally, he has appeared in several Commercial Arbitrations.

Presently, he is serving as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Limited and as the Acting Chairman of National Lotteries Board. He has also served as the Chairman of BOC (UK) Limited, Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka & Finance PLC and Acting Chairman of Hotels Colombo (1963) Limited, which are subsidiaries of Bank of Ceylon.