ComBank shines at first ‘Asian Banker Sri Lanka Awards’ with 4 wins

Members of the Commercial Bank team that accepted the awards (clockwise) Mr Upul Perera, Senior Manager Branch Credit Monitoring Dept; Ms Aparna Jagoda, Senior Manager Marketing; Mr Sanath Elpitiya, Chief Manager Retail Products Dept; and Mr Pradeep Banduwansa, Head of the Bank’s Digital Banking Unit.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon won four awards at the first ever ‘Asian Banker Sri Lanka Awards’ ceremony that recognised Sri Lankan banks and financial institutions that have excelled in retail banking and technology.

The quartet of awards won by the Bank were ‘Best Frictionless Credit Evaluation Initiative, Application or Programme’ for its personal loan request facility via the Online Banking Platform; ‘Best Productivity, Efficiency and Automation Initiative, Application and Programme’ for its account opening process automation via a core banking system; ‘Remittance Product of the Year’ for its Remittance Card and ‘Automobile Lending Product of the Year’ for its top-up lease facility.

The personal loan request facility of the Bank which won the ‘Best Credit Evaluation initiative’ title recognises the service’s new scoring model with a wide range of transactional, behavioural and alternative criteria processed in a highly automated manner to reach out to more customers previously inaccessible. The service is part of the Bank’s strategic direction towards promoting digital channels among customers, and is especially useful as it enables instantaneous approval of personal loans during the request process itself. No other institution in the country offers such prompt service. This facility allows the applicants of personal loans to apply through Online Banking without visiting a branch. A decision on the facility requested is given instantly if the applicant is eligible to apply for the loan. Final approval is based on the delivery of required documents and Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) clearance.

The introduction of an automated and simplified account opening process that does not require the customer to fill-out an application form, but captures already available personal data via one’s national identity card details earned the Bank the ‘Best Productivity, Efficiency and Automation Initiative’ award. This process significantly reduces customer turnaround time. Customers can also request to open an account through the website of the Bank.

The award for ‘Remittance Product of the Year’ recognised the Bank’s processing of large volumes of instantaneous global transfers at the lowest possible per transaction cost, passed on as a value proposition to a large number of customers. The Remittance Card of the Bank issued free of charge, encourages the habit of savings among the under-banked which is a pivotal client segment that brings in foreign exchange to the country. Additional benefits of the Remittance Card include special discounts from selected merchants and emergency loan facilities.

The fourth award for ‘Automobile Lending Product of the Year’ was for the Bank’s top-up lease facility which is the only one of its kind in the country. It enables customers who have obtained leases to purchase vehicles for personal use to top up their existing lease facility at any point of the lease period, thus conveniently catering to the urgent financial requirements of this segment. The award won for this product recognises the capability of the Bank to acquire customers through market leading turnaround time and quality service, and its assets that demonstrate strong risk management over several market cycles.

Established in 1996, the Asian Banker is a leading provider of strategic intelligence and builder of platforms on the financial services industry. It conducts several international awards programmes that have emerged within the banking and financial services community as undisputed benchmarks against which to measure the performance of the best banks and financial institutions. The awards primarily cover retail financial services, transaction finance, risk management and financial technology and are accepted by executives as some of the most prestigious, rigorous and transparent recognition programmes.

The Asian Banker Sri Lanka Awards programme was inaugurated this year with the objective of recognising competition that is specific to banks and financial institutions in Sri Lanka.

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 banks for nine years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 266 branches and 846 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank has multiple international and local awards in 2016 and 2017 and over 40 international and local awards in 2018.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay PyiTaw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.