Brand Finance Lanka, a part of the Brand Finance network, which is a brand valuation and strategy company with its headquarters in the UK, has published its Brands Annual publication recently and Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s No. 1 bank, set a record for the first time in Sri Lanka by becoming the No. 1 brand in the country for the fifth consecutive year. According to Brands Annual edition 2013, Brand value of Bank of Ceylon has increased from Rs. 15.19 billion to Rs. 24.15 billion in the year 2013.
This is a significant growth of 62% compared to the previous year.
The multi-faceted services are greatest strength of BOC. From the children’s savings account to corporate credit, for State sector and private organisations, BOC is at every level. The State-owned commercial bank in Sri Lanka has branches in Chennai and Male and also has banking operations in the United Kingdom.
BOC has the strength and the diversity of resources to offer its customers a range of financial solutions, from corporate banking, personal banking, SME banking, Islamic banking, investment banking, off-shore banking, development banking, international and treasury and trade financing services, through its widely spread branch network covering all parts of the country.
BOC has over 1,000 customer touch points covering 606 branches and 473 ATMs and over 860 foreign corresponding agents. The bank recently introduced night banking facility at its Wellawatte branch and 365 day banking facility at the Head Office branch in Colombo. Weekend banking facilities are also available at selected branches on Saturday and Sunday and a 24X7 call centre is operated to obtain any information on products and services of BOC. The Bank of Ceylon Premier Banking Centre in Colombo provides the most personalised private banking experience in an exclusive environment specially designed for Premier Banking customers.
Bank of Ceylon General Manager D.M. Gunesekera stated: “Our brand promise is to serve the people of Sri Lanka. BOC has been serving the banking and financial services sector since 1939. The bank has constantly succeeded in contributing to the growth of our nation and continues to assist the development of the country and guiding our customers and entrepreneurs to reach greater heights, which makes Sri Lanka’s leading bank, Bank of Ceylon, the bankers to the nation. The bank has also implemented key strategies during last year to increase its inward remittances and number of NRFC accounts. The premier financial institution fulfils its national development goals by providing financial support and guidance to agriculture, fisheries, industry and trade and also to the SME sector, which is the backbone of our economy.”
Bank of Ceylon received global recognition last year as one of the top 1,000 banks in the world, from the world’s premier banking and finance magazine, ‘The Banker’. The bank won a ‘hat trick’ at the National Business Excellence Awards 2012 for its exceptional performance in 2012 – Bronze award for Overall category, Silver award for Extra large category and Gold award for Banking and financial services category.
Fitch Rating Lanka Ltd. has upgraded the bank’s national long-term rating to AA+ (lka) Stable Outlook, which is the highest rating awarded to a local commercial bank.
The bank has reached an exceptional milestone in 2012 by achieving the highest profits among all organisations in Sri Lanka. BOC also became the first bank in Sri Lanka to reach a remarkable milestone by achieving Rs. 1 trillion in assets in 2012.
The bank passed yet another milestone by successfully completing a US$ 500 million bond issue for the second time in April 2013 and it was oversubscribed six times. Boosting the pride of the country by strengthening global investment opportunities, BOC became the first Sri Lankan bank to issue two international bonds worth US$ 1 billion within a span of 12 months. This reflects the power of the No. 1 bank in Sri Lanka.
Today it is the market leader in trade finance (with around 55% market share), inward remittances (40% market share), NRFC deposits (32% market share) and treasury operations (over 50% market share).
Gunesekera further stated: “The bank dominates Sri Lanka’s financial services industry in all directions. The bank is also equipped with a talented management team to take the BOC brand across the country. The bank has 10 million accountholders covering all parts of the country. The penetration of the BOC brand is 50% of our population and the bank has developed a strategy to penetrate more into unbanked territories in the country by expanding its distribution network through technology driven channels along with strategic marketing communication.”
The bank’s sustainability initiatives are to empower the people of this country. The strategic CSR is equally important to uplift the society by promoting national economic growth is of primary importance since the economy ultimately contributes to the wellbeing of each individual. Pivotal areas of economic growth where the bank’s strategic CSR focuses on are education, entrepreneurship, national heritage protection, livelihood development, healthcare development, environmental protection, sports development and supporting infrastructure development in the country.
Gunesekera affirmed: “BOC’s brand equity holds a very high value in the market. The Sri Lankan public in all corners of the country associates themselves with an assurance from a pioneering State bank for their hard-earned money. BOC’s financial stability, trust and 74 years of service in the market makes BOC the No. 1 bank in terms of profits, scale and choice of the people in the country. The bank has aggressive plans to expand its network internationally to make BOC one of the international Sri Lankan brands in the 21st century. Bank of Ceylon is truly Sri Lanka’s No. 1 bank.”