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People’s Bank expands balance sheet by close to LKR 350.0 billion during 9M-21



People’s Bank announced the results for its nine months period ended September 30, 2021 reporting asset and deposit growth of LKR 349.7 billion and LKR 276.6 billion, respectively – a record high growing by 15.7% and 15.1% during the said period. Growth in net loans and investment in treasury securities was LKR 167.4 billion and LKR 191.4 billion, respectively.

On a standalone basis, the Bank accounted for close to 20.0% of the Banking sector’s asset and net loan growth during the twenty one month period ended September 30, 2021; which is a feat self attesting to the contribution made by the Institution to the national cause and the Government. At September 30, 2021 – close to 50.0% of the Bank’s gross loans were to the State and other State Owned Enterprises.

During the said twenty one month period ended September 30, 2021 – the Bank introduced multiple loan schemes in view of supporting its customers. These included, amongst other, over LKR 60.0 billion in credit to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, over LKR 160.1 billion in home loans to over 9,000 customers, over LKR 6.0 billion to retired and disabled officers of armed forces and over LKR 560.0 million to artists of varying disciplines. In addition, Bank extended LKR 750.0 million to support the development of a Techno Park in Galle, over LKR 485.0 million to support women entrepreneurship and over LKR 260.0 million to University Students to purchase laptops.

Looking at some of the nine month 2021 highlights, net interest income rose by 38.9% whilst total operating income grew by close to 30.0%. Impairment charges rose by 10.7% Non personnel operating expenses were maintained at near LKR 11.6 billion without any increase. The Bank’s gross stage 3 loans as a function of total gross loans was close to 8.1% at September 30, 2021 whilst its gross non performing loans excluding SOEs was 6.1%. Total taxes and dividends to the Government during the said period was LKR 9.7 billion. The Bank’s Tier I and Total Capital Adequacy was 10.2% and 15.5%, respectively at end September 2021 compared with a minimum 8.5% and 12.5%.

Commenting on the results, the Chairman of People’s Bank – Mr. Sujeewa Rajapakse stated that: “We are pleased with the role and contribution of the Institution more so during a time of extraordinary challenge, change and need. We remain of service to the country in a time it needs us the most and are committed to the Government’s long term Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor initiatives. We measure our success not by a typical top or bottom line but by our contribution to safeguard the pandemic stricken economy and our role to assist in its revival. It also demonstrates our efficiency and productivity even during the most challenging circumstances thereby debunking any myth to the contrary. Above all said, with our job being far from over, we remain committed to continuing to play our part to help the country navigate through these unchartered waters”

The Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager of People’s Bank – Mr. Ranjith Kodituwakku stated that: “2021 is a year unlike any seen. The year to date period has put to test our continued commitment, our continued access, our digital capabilities, our customer centricity and our ultimate ability to rise to our national duty. Notwithstanding the many challenges, including those beyond our reasonable control as seen in recent past, our delivery remains testimony to our strength, resilience and collective capability. Fully aware of the many challenges which lie ahead, we look forward to the future with a great degree of hope and optimism”

People’s Bank is the country’s Premiere Licensed Commercial Bank with Sri Lanka’s largest banking foot print comprised of 741 branches and service centers island wide. With a history spanning 60 years, the Bank benefits from a staff strength of close to 8,000 serving more than 14.0 million customers and over 19.0 million account relationships – which is by far the largest for any Financial Services provider in country. Established under the People’s Bank Act No. 29 of 1961, the Bank carries a National Long-Term Rating of “AA – (lka/ Stable)”; by Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd.

With a view to bring the benefits of digitalization to the entire nation, People’s Bank embarked on a digital transformation journey back in 2015 by taking a pioneering role in digitization and customer engagement. Since then a host of diversified digital banking solutions have been launched that deliver enhanced convenience, speed and efficiency, and convenience to customers at every point in their interactions with the bank. People’s Bank is the first and only Bank in Sri Lanka to be accredited with the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification; the highest international accreditation for information protection, and security.

People’s Bank prides itself in being at the forefront of facilitating digital-financial services penetration into the rural hinterlands of the country and has recorded unmatched levels of success in supporting the nation’s evolution into a digital society.

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Dulux colours Architect 2023 exhibition with vibrant and engaging presence



Dulux -Sri Lanka’s, a leading manufacturer of paints and coatings – is celebrating the successful close of its participation at Architect 2023, also taking home an award for the ‘Best Trade Stall with Innovative Use of Colour’.

Organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects -and now in its 41st year- this year’s edition of the Architect 2023 annual trade fair took place from February 24-26 at the BMICH, and witnessed greater participation from leading companies and entrepreneurs actively involved in the various construction and architecture sectors; both locally and internationally, a company news release said.

“Dulux established a strong presence at the event with a spectacular exhibit themed Colour Futures ’23, featuring its 2023 Colour of the Year: Wild Wonder. Visitors to the stand were able to explore the four colour palettes, Lush, Buzz, Raw and Flow, inspired by the nature-influenced theme, with Dulux colour experts on hand providing unique trade insight, and also advising visitors on how best the shades can be implemented into their own work and living spaces,” it said.

“The popular mascot, “Dulux Dog” was also present to playfully engage with exhibition attendees and brighten up the vibrant Dulux stall even further. The Dulux exhibit proved widely popular among attendees to Architect 2023, due to its powerful display of colour in both interior & Exterior spaces. “

“Architect 2023 was a great opportunity for Dulux to learn from fellow trade professionals, and also to introduce visitors to the latest trends and insights from the global paints and coatings landscape,” said Upendra Gunawardhana, Head of Marketing at AkzoNobel Paints Sri Lanka. “We’ve maintained a strong long-standing relationship with the SLIA, and have every intention of being back again next year as well.”

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ACCA reaffirms ComBank as Best among Sri Lankan banks for Sustainable Reporting



Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr S. Prabagar (third from left) receives the ACCA award. The Bank’s Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking & Marketing Mr Hasrath Munasinghe (second from right) and Senior Manager – Sustainability, Women’s Banking & CSR Mrs Kamalini Ellawala (extreme right) are also in the picture

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was declared the best among all Sri Lankan banks in sustainability reporting at the Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards for 2022 presented by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Sri Lanka.

As the winner in the ‘Banking’ category Commercial Bank was recognised for being one of the most transparent, accountable, and responsible entities in the country. The award was presented for the Bank’s 2021 Annual Report titled ‘Beyond a shape, beyond a colour’ which among other aspects, explores the Bank’s evolving operating context in which social and environmental concerns are brought to the centre of its corporate agenda.

Prepared in line with the International <IR> framework, this Annual Report also presents the Bank’s social and environmental impacts as per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards: Core option. Additionally, it reports on the Bank’s contribution towards the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals.

The Report also features a dedicated section on ‘Business model for sustainable value creation’ and discloses information on loans screened through the Bank’s Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS), paper reduction and recycling initiatives, increased usage of renewable energy, and switching to energy-efficient appliances under the section on ‘Natural Capital.’ Indicators of value derived in this category include reduced energy consumption in gigajoules, number of facilities subjected to SEMS screening, number of new solar panel installation locations, number of internet banking and mobile banking users, and solar power generated as a percentage of energy consumption.

Commercial Bank’s high standards in comprehensive reporting area result of the Bank’s commitment to being a responsible financial entity and shaping its work ethics around sustainable business practices, the Bank said. Last year too, Commercial Bank topped the ACCA awards in the Banking category, in addition to winning the overall award for the Best Sustainability Report of 2020.

Notably, Commercial Bank’s 2021 Annual Report also won four awards including a Gold for ‘Interior Design,’ and a Bronze for ‘Interactive Annual Report’ at the 2022 edition of the MerComm ARC Awards which is the world’s largest annual report competition.

The Bank’s sustainability initiatives include lending to support sustainable and green operations, migrating customers to paperless banking, improving efficiency in the use of energy, water and other resources in its own operations and supporting community initiatives that help conserve habitats and the environment. Its support to a mangrove restoration project in Koggala and marine turtle conservation initiative in Panama are examples of its commitment to environmental conservation.

The Bank pioneered a mandatory social and environmental screening process for its project lending activities and was the first bank in Sri Lanka to venture into Green Financing. It also revolutionised digital banking by introducing features in its ‘Flash’ mobile application to measure and offset customer impact on the environment.

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Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC prioritizes psychological wellbeing in view of Women’s Day



Seen here are a few women at Ex-Pack cutting the cake

In view of the marking the International Women’s Day, Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC held an insightful event at their state-of-the-art factory premises in Kelaniya, highlighting the importance of psychological wellbeing and how Ex-Pack is taking up measures in ensuring an enabling environment for its 300 strong workforce, based on its wider DEI policies.

Various global studies have shown that women are impacted at much higher rates than men when it comes to mental illnesses. The session celebrated their achievements and life stories, and shared some eye-opening tips, facts, know how’s, to-dos, and various other influential factors including the dire need to change our perspectives on women’s roles, health and wellness. This also touched upon the emotional and social aspects of wellbeing too.

This year’s theme is centered on #EmbraceEquity, and Ex-Pack is no stranger when it comes to pursuing gender equality in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by male. As one of leading corrugated cartons manufacturer in Sri Lanka delivering end-to-end packaging solutions to both local and international clientele, and a subsidiary of Aberdeen Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Ex-Pack actively encourages more female participation.

‘With this year’s theme being #EmbraceEquity, we take great pride in being an ambassador and role model in our industry. We go beyond just equal opportunities to pro-actively collaborate with everyone, to ensure that our talented women have every possible resource at their disposal and are given all the required support to succeed both professionally and personally,’ said M. Zulficar Ghouse, Managing Director- Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC

Ex-Pack has long been engaged with providing equal career opportunities, and both men and women

are respected, rewarded and compensated equally. The company also has an open-door policy for all employees. Women empowerment stems directly from the top leadership, recognizing that women and their strengths are crucial to both the company and the overall economy.

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