Bank of Ceylon turns 82 | Sunday Observer

Bank of Ceylon turns 82

1 August, 2021

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) was legislated under ‘The Bank of Ceylon Ordinance’ in 1938 and opened by Governor Sir Andrew Caldecott at 41, Bristol Street, known today as Sir Baron Jayathilaka Mawatha, on August 1, 1939.

Reminiscing the glorious success of the bank over the years, the Bank’s Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said fully conscious of the need fulfill all aspects of its duties and obligations as a responsible corporate citizen, the Bank of Ceylon has always rendered its fullest cooperation for the socio-economic development of the country over the past 82 years.

Winning the hearts and minds of the people and becoming one of their close-knit family members is not attained by merely catering to the financial needs of the people. Guided by a precise vision and mission, BOC got itself deeply rooted in the minds and souls of the Sri Lankan community and accepted without any reservations.

“The long history of the bank repeatedly brings out evidence in each decade as to how it became the preferred choice of the people. We cherish the love and patronage shown towards us by fellow Sri Lankans, which made us stand strong over these years.

BOC’s deep-rooted relationship with stakeholders has been earned through its commitment to serving the public and the valour it displayed in difficult times in assisting the people. This is our strength and it will continue to make us stronger year by year,” he said.

General Manager D. P. K. Gunasekera recalled the unblemished presence the bank had in the banking chronicles of the country. “Reaching 82 years with an unblemished record proves the story behind the bank’s success. Braving environmental and other unforeseen obstacles and sailing undaunted across troubled waters, maintaining its balance, it has been a voyage of success over the years.

“We recall with gratitude the initiative of the pioneers of the bank who realised the need to set up what would become the first Sri Lankan bank to serve the people of this country. They also had a vision to build it as the best performing bank in the country and the trend setter for the other banks. “I am sure the Bank of Ceylon will continue to play a leading role in contributing to the economic development process the Government has embarked upon, as the leading state sector bank, in the future as well,” Gunasekera said.

BOC has over 2,000 customer touch points across Sri Lanka and has set up branches in Chennai, Male, Hulhumale and Seychelles. BOC also maintains a full-fledged banking subsidiary in London.Over the years the bank has been recognised in many local and international forums.

‘The Banker’, an international bankers’ magazine published in the UK again rated BOC as being among its Top 1,000 global banks and the highest-ranking Sri Lankan bank last year. Inculcating sustainability into their corporate strategy is a much acclaimed feat within the industry.

The Bank enjoys humble satisfaction with regard to its achievements over the long years of its service to the nation. Brand Finance Lanka and Media Services Publications rated BOC as the No. 1 banking brand in the country.

The Bank’s brand value was Rs. 53 billion, a 12% growth compared to the previous year. The bank has held this position for the past 13 years.

Realising the highest industry profits of Rs. 23.6 billion before tax and Rs. 3 trillion in assets for 2020 are some of its unparalleled feats. The Bank’s inward remittances grew over USD 2.8 billion last year which is another noteworthy achievement.

Setting up the “Business Rehabilitation and Revival unit” the task of which was to uplift and rehabilitate corporate sector businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitating the import of vaccines in support of the ongoing inoculation program are other “firsts” by the bank.