The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has once again been declared the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) ‘Leading Partner Bank’ in Sri Lanka for trade and finance transactions, in a significant reaffirmation of the Bank’s contributions in that sphere to the national economy.
This is the third consecutive year that Commercial Bank has been honoured with this title at the ADB Trade and Supply Chain Finance Programme (TSCFP) Awards that recognise the contributions of leading partner banks to trade in Asia and the Pacific. The 2023 awards ceremony took place in Singapore at Jen Singapore Tanglin by Shangri-La.
The award was presented to Commercial Bank for recording, with the ADB’s assistance, the highest number of transactions in Sri Lanka’s trade and supply chain finance domain between 1st July 2022 and 30th June 2023. Commercial Bank was among 25 banks that were recognised in 15 categories at the ADB TSCFP Awards ceremony.
Commenting on this latest accolade, Commercial Bank’s Assistant General Manager – Corporate Banking B. A. H. S. Preena said: “Commercial Bank is among the biggest facilitators of trade in Sri Lanka, offering the tools, techniques and instruments that help protect both buyers and sellers from trade-related risks and making it easier for businesses to transact with one another. This award is an important endorsement of this role we play.”
Commercial Bank’s partnership with the ADB contributes to the growth of the Bank’s trade finance portfolio via increased credit lines, expanded relationships with correspondent banks, reduced cash collateral requirements, enhanced ability to maintain or attract new clients, critical support during times of crisis, low-risk access to new and challenging markets, expanded geographic coverage to service export clients and the ability to leverage existing country line and issuing bank limits, the Bank said.
Commercial Bank is the largest private sector bank is Sri Lanka and channels more than 18% of the country’s export volumes and over 11 % of import volumes. The Bank’s robust relationship with the Trade clientele that routed trade transactions through the Bank, contributed towards winning the ADB award. Additionally, Commercial Bank’s global banking network that enabled it to deliver trade instruments to any destination and offer innovative trade solutions, the expertise of trade staff, its tech solutions in processing trade transactions, commitment to improving trade service standards, resilience in the face of the current financial crisis and the Bank’s financial stability were all factors considered for the accolade.
The Bank said products and services such as documentary credit, issuing of letters of guarantee, providing expert advice on forward exchange contracts, document collection, providing shipping guarantees, marine insurance, and advance payments, and assistance with entrepot trade shipments among others, have strengthened its performance in the trade and supply chain finance sphere. The Bank also recently launched ‘Combank Trade Club’ as an ecosystem to stimulate business growth for the Banks’ trade customers and ‘Combank LEAP GlobalLinker’ – a comprehensive digital business ecosystem set up in collaboration with the IFC and Global Linker to expand networking opportunities for trade customers.
The Asian Development Bank’s Trade and Supply Chain Finance Programme Awards are some of the most prestigious accolades in the banking and financial industry in Asia, presented to institutions that work passionately to foster economic growth through sustainability measures. The Awards recognise outstanding contributions of TSCFP partner banks that boost trade and supply chain finance in Asia and the Pacific. The TSCFP fills market gaps for trade finance by providing guarantees and loans to banks to support trade. Backed by its AAA credit rating, the programme works with partner banks to provide companies with the financial support they need to engage in import and export activities in Asia’s most challenging markets. TSCFP works with over 200 international banks from more than 90 countries around the world.
Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank and the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World, Commercial Bank operates a network of 271 branches and 957 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 20 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.