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BOC launches ‘Export Circle’ to drive SMEs to the level of institutional exporters

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BOC Director G. Harsha Wijayawardhana launches the Trade Finance Division of BOC with the aim of facilitating exporters.Pic by Saman Ranaweera

By Sanath Nanayakkare

 

BOC’s newest initiative’ Export Circle’ is designed to facilitate Sri Lanka’s SME exporters to climb the ladder and become diversified institutional level exporters, without being stuck in a rut forever, D.P.K Gunasekera, General Manager of Bank of Ceylon said yesterday.

“Earning substantial foreign exchange will have a direct influence on our economic development, so one of the most vital inflows we want is more foreign exchange earned from our exports, and we need to boost this income beyond the conventional export basket. In the past it was said that no nation would develop without innovations. But in today’s world the fact of the matter is; if a nation doesn’t innovate and export innovative goods to meet the demands of the consumers, that nation will never develop itself,” he said.

“We once visited a customer of the Bank of Ceylon who imports base oil and processes it into a line-up of lube base oil products for export. He told us that he had been inspired by how lube base oil refinery in South Korea set a milestone in South Korean base oil market. He told us although South Korea entirely depended on imported raw material to make this product range, it has today emerged as a leading supplier of lube base oil, acquiring a 30% of the world’s market share. This shows what is important is not just what kind of natural resources a country has, but how much talent, innovative thinking and commitment a nation has, in order to broad base their export product portfolio. The Bank of Ceylon’s newest initiative will help fill this gap and support entrepreneurs of that ilk,” he said.

BOC General Manager made these remarks at a forum held yesterday in line with the Bank’s 82nd Anniversary celebrations which also saw the ceremonious launch of the BOC “Export Circle”, by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa via virtual screen from Temple Trees.

The move was initiated by the Trade Finance Division of BOC with the aim of accommodating exporters from all-walks-of-life. This fully-fledged one stop export unit located at the Bank’s Head Office ‘Trade Services’ department, is built with a state-of-the-art ambiance to add a relaxed and pleasant customer experience.

Further speaking Gunasekara said,”The programme has the intention of accommodating the financial and non-financial needs of these exporters and their supply chain management. This novel ‘circle’ concept will provide a tailor-made service with a credit package and a new deposit scheme. Among many useful facilities the exporters will experience are the trade information-desk which will provide up to date, end-to-end supply chain information, high standard advisory/consultancy services which is expected to iron out issues that could emerge when carrying out export transactions and assistance of business registration related services from documentation to other procedures which are crucial for the exporter.”

“Launching this programme is not enough. Now we have to go out and facilitate entrepreneurs who possess this kind of talent and facilitate them with financial and non-financial support. We should educate them on how to optimise their export earnings, how their businesses could be financially savvy in the overseas market and even provide them with currency hedging strategies they would need to know as exporters. Especially we are going to assist SMEs with an export potential or already exporting to come up to institutional level. It is the duty of BOC to facilitate exporters to bring in more foreign exchange and contribute to the development of the country,” he said.

 

 



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DFCC Bank’s Ranwarama pawning facility lends a helping hand to those with urgent cash requirements

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DFCC Bank has increased the advances of its “DFCC Ranwarama” Pawning Facility as a solution for families to meet their urgent cash requirements as many families are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has had a significant impact on the Sri Lankan economy.

Through this scheme, all Sri Lankan citizens over 18 years of age with the contractual capacity to declare themselves as owners of the articles can now pawn gold or gold jewellery. DFCC Bank accepts jewellery made of 18 Karat -24 Karat gold, with the articles being assayed using the latest available equipment. Items of 24 Karate will hold an advanced value of LKR 82,000/-, while 22 Karat pieces will hold an advanced value of LKR 68,000/- at an interest rate of 0.75% per month. Those who engage in these transactions are provided a maximum of 12 months to settle the pawning advances at their convenience.

DFCC Bank’s Ranwarama Pawning Facility offers many other special features including the highest advance amount at competitive rates of interest, confidentiality and guaranteed security for the articles, flexible payment plans with redemption options when required and redemption without prior notification. All of these facilities are available with no hidden charges, offering customers the best service available in the market.

You may visit a DFCC Bank branch closest to you to transact or visit the Bank’s website at www.dfcc.lk for further information. Customers can also contact DFCC Bank’s 24-hour contact center on +94(11)2350000 for further inquiries.

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HSBC Sri Lanka recognised as the Best Consumer Digital Bank by Global Finance

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HSBC has been recognised as the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka for 2021 by Global Finance at the World’s Best Consumer Digital Banks Awards in Asia-Pacific. While this is the bank’s fourth award win for this year, this also marks the 13th time that HSBC Sri Lanka has been named the Best Consumer Digital Bank, since 2006.

HSBC Sri Lanka is also the only market in Asia Pacific to win the prestigious award this year.

According to Global Finance, the global health crisis accelerated the need for digital and contact-free solutions by banks in helping create safe and efficient banking services for customers. HSBC Sri Lanka was quick to react in supporting customers in providing seamless digital bank offerings in an increasingly demanding environment, while ensuring customers have a secure banking service with a full spectrum of client-centric banking services.

Through its wealth of digital capabilities and offerings, HSBC allowed customers to adopt a mobile-first approach, and provide them with faster, easier and more secure banking services 24/7. The bank introduced a virtual on boarding capability for account opening, loans and credit cards supported by Adobe Live Sign, eKYC and virtual PINs to provide a seamless on boarding experience for customers. HSBC also offers credit card activation through SMS and an e2e virtual registration process for online banking, offering a virtual banking experience.

In Sri Lanka more than 90% of its personal customers now use digital channels including mobile banking, e-wallets, real-time cash deposit machines and other digital services.

Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking said, “We are truly honoured to be named the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Sri Lanka for 2021 by Global Finance in recognition of our digital capabilities, and delivering important everyday services and features that customers need and expect. As a leading international bank, we are putting the power of our bank in every customer’s pocket, with easier and more secure digital banking. We want to take the hassle out of everyday banking, and enable customers to easily manage their money online, from opening a new account in a few clicks, to making real time payments and accessing credit.”

Senaratne added: “We’re also blending the power of technology with the expertise of our people and empowering our frontline teams with the latest data and insights tools, to be better-equipped to check customer satisfaction in the moment, to understand, and respond to their evolving needs and give customers excellent service.”

Winners were selected by a world-class panel of judges and entries were judged based on the strength of strategy for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings and evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives.

Earlier this year, HSBC Sri Lanka was also named International Bank of the Year by Asiamoney and Finance Asia respectively, and International Retail Bank of the Year by Asian Banking & Finance.

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BoardPAC appointed Strategic Partner of Commonwealth’s Business Network – CWEIC

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BoardPAC, the Sri Lanka-based multinational Board meeting automation solutions company, has been appointed a Strategic Partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), the organisation officially mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote trade and investment between the 54 Commonwealth member countries.

This prestigious appointment will see CWEIC relying on BoardPAC’s award-winning solutions to conduct board and committee meetings with members and maintain relationships across the Commonwealth network at a time when the global pandemic’s complete disruption of business activity has resulted in a surge in the demand for efficient board meeting automation.

The Company said the partnership will also effectively promote the BoardPAC platform to new users and facilitate its expansion into new territories and focus markets. BoardPAC already has a global user base in excess of 50,000 and a presence in more than 40 countries.

Noting that BoardPAC’s latest partnership serves as yet another testament to the quality of its solutions, BoardPAC Co-Founder/CEO, Lakmini Wijesundera stated: “Our growth plan includes expanding our worldwide network, and our strategic alliance with CWEIC will strongly help us extend our presence into Commonwealth territories. The strategic cooperation between CWEIC and BoardPAC is especially relevant in light of the worldwide pandemic, and the emerging need for secure remote working and filling the void in virtual board meetings.”

CWEIC Chairman, Rt. Hon. Lord Jonathan Marland said: “We are looking forward to work closely with BoardPAC. The alliance will not only help CWEIC to conduct virtual board meetings securely and safely, but also align ourselves with all governance, risk and compliance as well as environmental, social, and governance frameworks.” Echoing this sentiment, CWEIC Deputy Chair, Sir Hugo Swire stated: “We are excited to partner with BoardPAC and extend modern digital governance and compliance solutions to organisations operating in the Commonwealth.”

Disclosing that BoardPAC’s excellent track record inspired confidence within the CWEIC to implement its solution on a global scale, CWEIC Chief Executive, Samantha Cohen CVO added: “We’re delighted that BoardPAC, one of the most renowned virtual board meeting automation providers in the world, joined our network of Strategic Partners. BoardPAC will add significant value to our board and committee meetings, allowing the CWEIC to conduct meetings with its members throughout the Commonwealth more effectively. The partnership also demonstrates the opportunities within the Commonwealth, and the confidence businesses have towards the Commonwealth and CWEIC.”

A commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council’s network includes around 100 business and government Strategic Partners (members) including Standard Chartered, Zenith Bank, Trade & Investment Queensland and the Government of the Maldives from 30 countries and territories. Every two years, CWEIC hosts the Commonwealth Business Forum in association with the host country of The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

BoardPAC is an award winning, multinational, paperless board meeting automation solutions provider, recognised for driving simple, secure, sustainable and experiential communications for Board and Executive members. Leading corporates such as Petronas, Deloitte, EY, Mercedes Benz, Prudential, Hong Leong Group, Stock Exchange of Malaysia, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Bombay Stock Exchange, Bank Negara, Maybank, Power Grid Corporation of India, Colombo Stock Exchange, and Sri Lankan Airlines are just some of BoardPAC’s success stories, and the Company said the partnership with the CWEIC will pave the way to several more high-profile additions to this list.

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