The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has recorded remarkable Rs. 2 trillion balance sheet in assets, loans and deposits becoming the first corporate entity to achieve this landmark in the financial year 2020, top officials said. This achievement despite global and local challenges arising out of COVID-19 could be attributed to the bank’s strong foundation, public [...]

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BOC records Rs 2 trillion balance sheet complementing economy

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The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has recorded remarkable Rs. 2 trillion balance sheet in assets, loans and deposits becoming the first corporate entity to achieve this landmark in the financial year 2020, top officials said.

This achievement despite global and local challenges arising out of COVID-19 could be attributed to the bank’s strong foundation, public confidence and its staff working towards a corporate plan, BOC Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said.

Addressing a media conference in Colombo on Wednesday, he noted that the bank has posted Rs.29 billion profit before all taxes complementing the government’s efforts of socio-economic development.

BOC’s assets base was up by 24 per cent to Rs. 2.9 trillion as at 31 December 2020, and further grew to Rs, 3 trillion in the first quarter this year with a 24 per cent increase in the loan book of Rs.2.1 trillion, he disclosed.

There was a significant increase in government and private sector borrowing and the bank’s lending to all segments, including retail and corporate financing has also contributed to this growth in loans.

The bank’s deposit base (more than 23 per cent of the industry) increased by 23.4 per cent to Rs. 2.47 trillion in 2020 despite low interest rates.

However the bank is maintaining 15 per cent interest rate for senior citizens fixed deposits, he revealed.

BOC Chief Financial Officer Russel Fonseka, revealed that there was an? improvement in the asset quality profile, while maintaining a comfortable earnings and a capital profile with steady maintenance of the capital buffers above regulatory capital requirement.

The bank extended support to government’s efforts to revive the economy by implementing the Central Bank’s announced moratorium to over 258,000 customers in facilities worth Rs. 589.4 billion, BOC General Manager D.P.K. Gunasekera disclosed.

BOC topped the industry in granting loans under the “Saubagya” Working Capital Loan scheme, disbursing Rs. 39.1 billion to over 18,000 borrowers.

It has also introduced a special loan scheme for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with facilities worth Rs. 20.5 billion while the SME and microfinance sector was provided with disbursements of Rs. 128.9 billion in 2020, he added.

The portfolio management unit averaged 10-15 per cent growth in fund size annually since 2017, but in 2020 the fund grew by 20 per cent to Rs.1.6 billion in assets under management.

This is a testament to the level of trust investors have in the bank. Even with low interest rates, people continue to place deposits with the BOC, R.M.N. Jeewantha, BOC Deputy General Manager (International, Treasury and Investment) said.

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