DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB), the everyday banking unit of the pioneer development bank, DFCC Bank entered 2011 with renewed focus under the guidance of Lakshman Silva, the bank’s CEO.
Taking over as the Bank’s CEO in January 2010, Silva has seen DVB through a fruitful year amidst many challenges.
Experiencing an aggressive growth in branch set-up last year, DVB was the only commercial bank to increase their presence at 51 strategic locations across the island, opening 45 extension offices and 6 branches.
Speaking of plans for 2011, Silva says, “This year we will concentrate on consolidating our operations as well as our position in the industry. We will work towards introducing more personal finance products, which will be based heavily on the emerging trends in the market. While designing these products, we will concentrate mainly on satisfying our customers’ basic day-to-day banking needs.”
Already armed with a 123-strong branch network, this year DFCC Vardhana Bank will focus on increasing the bank’s presence in the North-East and Deep South.
In 2010, the Bank opened branches in the North and East with the Central Bank’s Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal being the chief guest at the opening of the branch in Jaffna. DFCC Vardhana also opened branches in Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee. The bank’s 100th branch was opened in Moratuwa in September and branches in Pettah and Embilipitiya in December.
The first quarter of the year will also see the bank launching the Vardhana VISA International Debit Card, which will provide DVB customers access to over 1,600 ATMs in Sri Lanka and over 2 million across the globe. Also included in the product portfolio growth plan later on in the year, is the addition of a leasing product, which will initially be offered exclusively to the Bank’s customers.
In the past year, the Bank received the much coveted MACO award, from the Mass Communicators Association of Sri Lanka. The award received for the immense contribution the bank rendered through its partnership with Sri Lanka Post towards the improvement of infrastructure in the peripheral and rural areas of the country is proof of the Bank’s commitment to provide exceptional banking inclusions to people in rural areas — creating employment opportunities while also supporting the overall plans of the government in developing the rural and peripheral areas of the country.
2010 also saw DVB receiving affirmation from Fitch Ratings Lanka on its National Long-term rating at ‘AA-(lka)’, confirming the bank’s outlook as stable. This renewed Fitch rating verifies the stability of DFCC Vardhana Bank, exhibiting its satisfactory performance amidst challenging economic conditions both locally and internationally.
Further improving on DVB’s product and service offering, the introduction of enhanced security features on the Vardhana Visa Credit Card not only made shopping for DVB customers a safer experience but also made transactions fraud-free.
The previous year also saw DVB signing up with Sampath Bank, offering customers enhanced ATM network facilities with a combined set up of over 240 ATM points across the island. The next phase in this project involves obtaining connectivity to the visa ATM network providing DVB customers accessibility to the worldwide VISA ATM network comprising of over 2 million ATMs in the first quarter.
Last year, DVB launched two new products: Vardhana Nenasa and Vardhana Sandella. Vardhana Nenasa is aimed at providing financial assistance to students and professionals who wish to pursue their Higher Education. The other newly launched product, Vardhana Sandella is designed to facilitate basic housing needs and is validated by its popularity in the marketplace.
Strengthening the concept of financial inclusion at the Bank’s extension offices spread out across the island, the bank introduced an innovative and reliable solution – Vardhana Mbanker. Using mobile terminals, DVB banking executives visit customers in order to carry out basic banking activities, with a view to provide banking inclusions to consumers especially in rural areas who had been deprived of modern banking facilities hitherto. This innovative banking service is a step towards embracing technological development and moving with the times, while also constantly working on improving the bank’s service offering.
DFCC Vardhana Bank has grown from strength to strength over the past 7 years, since its inception and the achievement of 123 delivery points across the island makes it one of the fastest growing commercial banks in Sri Lanka.