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Union Bank records ‘resilient performance’ despite challenging environment in 3Q

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Union Bank continued to focus on its prudent cost and portfolio management strategy to remain resilient amidst a volatile macro-economic landscape that prevailed through the third quarter of the year, a bank press release said.

It adds – ‘The Covid-19 outbreak weakened the country outlook substantially and affected the overall business landscape of the country. Amidst a challenging economic landscape, the Average Prime Lending Rate (AWPLR) dropped by approximately 400bps YoY while the Treasury Bill rates continued on a downward trend during the period under review. In line with directives of the Central Bank, Union Bank implemented a downward revision of interest rates on its various lending products including credit cards. The Bank took measures to provide loans at concessionary rates for Working Capital requirements of SMEs and exporters by participating in the CBSL credit schemes including the Saubhagya Covid-19 Renaissance Facility.

‘In a backdrop where the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the economy, businesses and consumers continued to weigh down on the banking industry, the Bank focused on continuing the Covid-19 related benefits schemes granted to its customers in a bid to support their financial recovery while focusing on maintaining business operations in compliance with health safety guidelines set by health officials to ensure safety of staff, customers and other stakeholders.

‘Amidst mounting challenges, Union Bank increased its liquidity buffers on a prudent basis and has been able to maintain a strong excess liquidity position. During the period under review average fixed deposits remained stable whereas average CASA ended at Rs.23,805 Mn, with an increase of 18% over the comparative period.

As a consequence of the Bank’s policy to support its customers during these tough times and a decline in interest rates, its Net Interest Margin (NIM) declined from 3.8% to 3.3% over the comparative period.

Late payment fee and other fee waivers provided in line with the CBSL guidelines aimed at supporting the customers affected by the pandemic, alongside a decline in economic activity, caused a reduction of the overall fee income by 25% over the comparative period.

‘The Treasury performed notably within the period under review, recording impressive trading profit/capital gains with a significant YoY increase of 108%. Other Operating Income of the Bank increased on the back of exchange rate deflation during the said period.

‘Amidst the challenging environment, the Operating Income of the Bank for the quarter was Rs. 1,692 Mn, and reduced by 3% over the comparative quarter. The Total Operating Expenses were prudently managed through bank-wide cost management initiatives and reduced by 5% QoQ to Rs. 941 Mn.

‘Consequently, Pre-impairment profits of the Bank were Rs. 751 Mn for the quarter and was similar to that of the comparative quarter. While the Bank’s actual credit losses were low, the Bank recorded significant provisions through management overlays to account for the deteriorating environment, leading to a 31% QoQ increase in impairment charges. The entire day one loss on account of Covid-19 moratoriums was recorded under the impairment charge as per the non-substantial modification method which is in line with the Sri Lanka Accounting Standard – 9 (SLFRS 9).’

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Union Assurance empowers its policyholders by introducing free COVID-19 life coverage

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Union Assurance PLC being one of the largest insurance solution providers in Sri Lanka has further established their commitment towards the nation by staying true to its promise, ‘Your Life, Our Strength’. In turbulent times such as COVID-19, the company has taken initiative to persevere and adapt by responding to customers’ needs irrespective of the unanticipated circumstances presented.

The free COVID-19 cover has been reinstated to support both existing and new policyholders to ensure additional protection during these uncertain times. The cover provides a free death cover up to a maximum of LKR 1 million per policyholder. This free cover is valid for a period of one month commencing from 02nd November 2020 to 01st December 2020.
Union Assurance was also recognized as one of the first life insurance companies to offer hospital cash benefits for quarantine treatments since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. The company therefore assures all its valued policyholders this initiative would be continued in which hospitalization per day claims directly resulting from COVID-19 will be considered from 20th October to 31st December 2020.

Amidst grave adversity Union Assurance strives to provide its unwavering commitment in offering the best in class protection coverages to its policyholders while ensuring that their families are financially empowered to face any challenge and uncertainty.

Jude Gomes, Chief Executive Officer of Union Assurance stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health, economic and social crisis and has affected people from all walks of life. We offer this timely protection cover free of charge to provide our policyholders the added peace of mind that the future of their families will be secured during these uncertain times. The specialty of this cover is that it is not just limited to our existing policyholders but is also offered to new customers and thereby giving Sri Lankans access to secure the future of their families.”

To obtain more information about this free COIVD 19 cover, call the Union Assurance 24-hour hotline on 1330, email: info@unionassurance.com; or chat with the company on www.unionassurance.com
Union Assurance is the oldest private life insurer in Sri Lanka, and is a member of the John Keells Group, Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate. Union Assurance completes over three decades of success in the industry with a market capitalization of Rs. 18 Bn, a Life Fund of Rs. 38 Bn and a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 434% as at August 2020. Set to empower the Sri Lankan Dream, Union Assurance offers Life Insurance solutions that cover education, health, protection, retirement, and investment needs of Sri Lankans. With 76 branches and an over 3000-strong workforce, Union Assurance continues to invest in people, products, and processes to remain agile and responsive to emerging changes in the Life Insurance industry.

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Seylan Bank partners with Mastercard to facilitate MasterCard Payment Gateway Services

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Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, recently partnered with Mastercard to integrate MasterCard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS) – a technology platform to enable easy and secure acceptance of a wide range of digital payment methods for Seylan customers.

As the need for digitization of banking products and services grows globally, banks are continuing to evolve their Internet Payment Gateways (IPG) to introduce new technologies offering heightened customer convenience and security of digital transactions. By partnering with Mastercard and facilitating the MPGS platform, Seylan customers, merchants, and industry partners will benefit from a range of features, delivering an enhanced user experience.

Commenting on this, Chaminda Senewiratne – Head of Digital Banking Channels at Seylan Bank said “The MasterCard Payment Gateway Service will transform digital transactions, further eliminating the need for cash payments. We at Seylan Bank, are proud to partner with Mastercard, one of the world’s leading payment platforms to offer our customers the MPGS service. Our customers can now experience an elevated, secure, reliable, and fast digital payment process, making the payment gateway a desirable channel giving merchants a chance to take their businesses global and accept payments from customers through the gateway.

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AIA Wealth Planner Krishan Dassanayaka internationally honoured

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AIA Insurance’s Wealth Planner, Krishan Wasantha Dassanayaka, has been honoured by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) with an invitation to serve on the Membership Communications Committee (MCC) as Country Chair for Sri Lanka, AIA said in a news release.

The MCC is a network of more than 400 members worldwide who are responsible for promoting MDRT and communicating information to current and aspiring members, companies, and other industry organizations and reporting the needs and concerns of members to the MDRT Executive Committee and MDRT headquarters in the USA.

It is a global and independent association that is internationally recognised as the standard of excellence in life insurance and financial services. MDRT has an overall membership of 72,000 from over 500 companies in 70 countries. Its members are required to generate a certain level of premium, commission and income, and demonstrate professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service.

AIA said Dassanayake’s was an outstanding achievement both personally and professionally and one which has brought great pride to person and organization.

“With this prestigious new appointment, Krishan will work with the global MDRT team for innovative ideation, groundbreaking implementation and achieving high-quality results,” the release said.

Having joined AIA Insurance as a Wealth Planner in 2003, he has always been a top performer and source of pride to the organisation and had won a host of national awards including the Golden Eagle (2009) and Silver Eagle several times as well as being recognized by AIA as a ‘Premier Wealth Planner’ for six straight years and as a ‘Supreme Wealth Planner’ for four years running.

 

 

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