Bank of Ceylon’s Maldives branch celebrates 40 years excellence in service

Friday, 7 May 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Top: DGM International, Treasury and Investments R.M.N. Jeewantha. Bottom: AGM Overseas Branches H.M.M.D. Herath. Group photograph: BOC Malé and Hulhumalé Country Manager S.B.A.M.G.S. Arampath and the staff of Malé branch 

BOC Deputy General Manager – International, Treasury and Investments R.M.N. Jeewantha
BOC Assistant General Manager – Overseas Branches H.M.M.D. Herath

Bank of Ceylon completed 40 years of service to the community in Maldives on 7 May. As a leading bank, BOC Malé continues to play a significant role as a banking and financial services provider to the Maldives and an important offshore

branch of Sri Lankan origin that is of greater significance to uplifting Sri Lanka’s economic profile.

Marking its global presence, since the inauguration of the London Branch, BOC opened its first branch in Malé in 1981, making it the second foreign branch of the bank. BOC continued to expand its reach with branches in Chennai and Seychelles. 

Having firmly established operations in Male’, Bank of Ceylon went on to open its second Maldivian branch in Hulhumalé in 2019. This initiative was an extension of the bank’s vision to build a strong global presence, with its own branch network, that could generate foreign income flows to Sri Lanka. To date Bank of Ceylon has expanded its overseas operations to London, Maldives (Malé and Hulhumale), Chennai and Seychelles, with five foreign counterparts under the Bank of Ceylon brand.

Since its establishment Bank of Ceylon, Maldives has been a partner in developing the economy of the Republic of Maldives over the last four decades. BOC actively contributed by funding the Hulhumalé Reclamation Project Phase II, which is one of the largest projects ever undertaken in Maldives to date. BOC Maldives has an enviable market share in deposits and advances, while the bank’s considerable contribution in development of the tourism sector is widely acknowledged. Although the Maldives was adversely affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic, BOC, Maldives was able to record a remarkable performance for year 2020.

The bank has also been instrumental in boosting the aviation sector, as well as fisheries projects and housing sector in the Maldives. As a fully-fledged branch, BOC Maldives provides a full gamut of commercial banking services, which includes personal banking, corporate banking, development banking, trade finance, remittance services, foreign currency operations and other financial services, vis-à-vis deposit products to the people of the Maldives, whilst contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.  

Through its operations over the last four decades, the branch has earned the trust and goodwill of the community, the Maldivian Government and the business community of the country. The diverse customer base includes a multitude of individual customers, corporates, and the expatriate community from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, etc.

Always at the forefront of introducing new and emerging technologies throughout, BOC has the honour of being the first bank in the Maldives to introduce ATMs. The bank continues to introduce the latest in technology led products, leading the way through innovation. With the advent of digital banking, BOC Maldives has accelerated its digital drive with products such as B-app, IPG, and Smart Passbook among others. 

“BOC Maldives is a pioneer in the Maldives banking sector, with an unprecedented digital drive to fulfill the evolving aspirations of our valued customers. We continue to develop strategies to strengthen our digital backbone, while enhancing customer service excellence,” said Deputy General Manager International, Treasury and Investments R. M. N. Jeewantha.

In celebration of its 40th milestone, BOC Maldives branch has organised a customer felicitation ceremony, adhering to the prevailing health guidelines, and will launch a branded Debit Card for corporate customers. 

“Our focus in the coming years is to help reinstate the Maldives tourism industry, which is severely affected due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. We will continue to strengthen our relationships and grow our private sector corporate portfolio to achieve a balance as we have so far focused to serve the economy of the Maldives primarily by funding Government and State-Owned Enterprises. Being at the forefront in extending moratorium facilities for COVID-affected businesses and individuals, BOC Maldives has extended a significant amount of moratorium facilities. Building on the success of partnering in syndicated loan facilities, we will pursue further opportunities in syndicated loan facilities, either as the lead bank or as a partner,” said Bank of Ceylon Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte.

Commenting on the milestone, Bank of Ceylon General Manager D. P. K. Gunasekera said: “Managing different regulatory frameworks in several foreign banking landscapes, BOC has proven its resilience in its operations amidst many challenges, while complying with all regulatory requirements. With the achievements of the past paving the way for future aspirations, the bank will continue to serve all its stakeholders locally and offshore with the same commitment and passion.”

The bank currently employs more than 35 Maldivian nationals who have been trained and equipped with the required skills. The challenges of the COVID pandemic last year saw the entire team in the Maldives coming together and contributing immensely, together with the support of the Head Office to ensure uninterrupted services to customers. This unwavering team spirit enabled the bank to overcome the numerous challenges faced.

“Behind the success of the 40-year journey, the significant role of our valued customers, who continue to keep their trust with BOC Malé is remarkable. The sterling support given by the regulatory authorities in both Maldives and Sri Lanka in ensuring the creation and growth of a stable and resilient financial sector giant BOC Malé is immeasurable,” said BOC Malé and Hulhumalé Country Manager S. B. A. M. G. S. Arampath.