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BOC’s market leadership position in foreign remittances helps uplift national economy in crisis period

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BOC’s Deputy General Manager (International, Treasury & Investment), R. M. N. Jeewantha, recently discussed BOC’s lead role in foreign remittances in Sri Lanka amid the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the bank’s role in offering uninterrupted banking services at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

The following are some excerpts from his presentation.

“The importance of foreign worker remittances to the national economy cannot be overstated. Remittance-generated income has become even more crucial currently, owing to the ongoing health crisis.”

With over 2 million Sri Lankans residing and working in foreign countries, they amount to approximately 10% of the country’s population and 25% of the local workforce. In the year 2019, a total of USD 6.7 Billion was generated in foreign currency remittances, corresponding to 8.03% of our total GDP. This is indicative of the significance of the contributions by migrant workers, particularly in Middle Eastern, East Asian and Western countries, to our national economy.”

“Of the above stated total in 2019, a notable 40% market share of foreign currency remittances was garnered by Bank of Ceylon, which the bank has consistently maintained over numerous years. An institution that has formed a reputation as Bankers to the Nation, BOC has helped Sri Lankans send money home reliably, safely, and promptly for many decades. The impact that the ability to securely transfer money has on our citizen’s social well-being, is incalculable.”

“Despite remittances being hard hit in the months of April and May by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, and extended periods of lockdown as a result, foreign remittances in Sri Lanka reached a high of USD 703 Million in September 2020. BOC has maintained market leadership position in foreign remittances in 2020 as well, while managing to retain 40% market share once more.”

“Additionally, for conversion of remittances to rupees plus for foreign currency deposits, BOC provides the most attractive exchange rates market-wide. These benefits feature heavily when Sri Lankans working abroad opt for BOC to facilitate their money transfers.”

“BOC also maintains over 100 direct relationships with exchange houses worldwide. These partnerships are facilitated by BOC business promotion officers across the world in countries such as Qatar, South Korea, Oman, UAE, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Kuwait, and Israel. It is important to note that even amidst the current global pandemic, these BOC business promotion officers have not requested to come back home, and they continue to serve Sri Lankans in those countries and the country as a whole.”

“The bank’s resolve to continue serving the nation even in times of adversity, ensured state corporations, private entities and the country as a whole could operate and continue as before. This fully captures the spirit of Bank of Ceylon, and its determination to lead the country forward.”

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HNB promotes cashless transactions; joins CBSL’s ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign

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Chief Guest for the event Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal, CBSL Deputy Governor and National Payments Council chairperson Yvette Fernando, and CBSL Payments and Settlements Director D. Kumaratunge with HNB Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dilshan Rodrigo as he completes a transaction via HNB SOLO at a merchant stall

HNB PLC, partnered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to promote the Colombo-leg of ‘Rata Purama LANKA QR’ campaign at Diyatha Uyana, to raise awareness and encourage the public towards cashless payments.

Having already linked LANKA QR to its digital payment app HNB SOLO, the bank was among other financial institutions and telecommunication partners in joining efforts to make cashless QR-code based payments the standard for mobile phones and digital payments countrywide, in moving towards a cashless and digitally-savvy Sri Lanka.

“We are entering a new era of financial technology, where almost all of our daily transactions will require no physical banknotes, but just a smartphone and internet connection with our bank account integrated to a digital payment app.

The Central Bank’s national directive for banks and financial institutions to adopt and integrate LANKA QR into their existing digital payment solutions has prompted an aggressive onboarding of merchants to the new payment solution across the country. With our extensive customer base, SOLO is no doubt a significant contributor to this innovative initiative,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

The Colombo-leg of the ‘Rata Purama LANKA QR’ campaign raised awareness regarding SOLO’s many facilities, including zero human interaction, efficiency, and eliminated risks that influenced many vendors to come on board.

 

(HNB)

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Bank of Ceylon empowering nation with Lanka Q

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The Bank of Ceylon in its mission to assist the government initiative to empower Sri Lanka through digital technology is joining the customer awareness campaign of Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s Lanka QR digital platform.

Bank of Ceylon had its most recent major awareness programs in Borella and Maharagama along with the other branches in Colombo District in line with the Central Bank’s main program held in “Diyatha Uyana” with the participation of all Lanka QR certified banks on the same day.

Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has organized a series of awareness and promotion campaigns for popularizing Lanka QR with the participation of all Lanka QR certified financial institutions throughout the country with the aim of speeding up the customer adaptation process towards digital banking.

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Sri Lanka Insurance posts a staggering revenue of Rs. 55.2 billion during 2020

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Amidst the turbulent and challenging year Sri Lanka Insurance has closed year 2020 on a positive note recording phenomenal revenue growth with exceptional service innovations.

Sri Lanka Insurance the premier insurer to the nation recorded stellar performance in 2020 to record Rs. 55.2 billion revenue for the year, a marked improvement on the Rs.48.6 billion in the year 2019, a press release said.

It adds – In the year of 2020 Sri Lanka Insurance reported 30 % growth in life insurance premium increasing to Rs.19.2 billion whilst general insurance reported 7% growth in premium grew to Rs. 20.1 billion. The company achieved a combined Gross Written Premium (GWP) growth rate of 17 % during the year. General insurance contributed 51% towards the total GWP whilst Life Insurance contributed 49 %.

‘In continuing with its tradition of leadership, Sri Lanka Insurance in 2020 surpassed its own record to declare a sum of Rs.8.2 billion as bonus to policyholders. The cumulative life insurance bonus paid out during the past 10 years tops a massive Rs.54 billion making the SLIC bonus payout unmatchable.

‘As the national insurer we have witnessed yet another challenging year and the consequences brought out by pandemic outbreak urged us to conduct our business operations in a more empathetic manner. SLIC has always taken the lead to protect the nation and during this difficult time Sri Lanka Insurance launched many initiatives to sustain country’s health defenses while ensuring our customers receive uninterrupted insurance service.

‘As the pioneering insurance company in Sri Lanka we are in the forefront to inculcate the importance of insurance to the masses as a national responsibility on our shoulders. We will further strengthen internal capabilities to serve the nation through innovative and affordable insurance solutions which cater to all Sri Lankans under the ‘Insurance for All” concept. Even though the times are defining we will continue protecting our nation turning obstacles into opportunities.’ noted .Jagath Wellawatta, chairman of SLIC.

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