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DateLine Wednesday, 3 September 2008

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NSB introduces ‘Happy Savings’

The National Savings Bank launched the newest savings product Happy Savings recently.

The launch was held at NSB Moratuwa Branch under the patronage of Chairman NSB Upali Gunarathne . Two executive Directors of NSB, W.H. Piyadasa and Sumanadasa Abegunawardana were also present. First deposit collection was over 25 Million.

Chairman NSB Upali Gunarathne accepting a deposit from a customer.

National Savings Bank marked 36 years of operations in Sri Lanka in 2008. The principal activity of the National Savings Bank continues to be the promotion of savings among the people of Sri Lanka and the profitable investment of savings so mobilised.

The Bank’s Non-Resident Foreign Currency (NRFC) Accounts and Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) Accounts also enable the migrant workers to remit money home and manage the funds in a prudent way while earning interest.

The Bank has now appointed representatives in the UAE, the UK and Italy to market its products and provide supporting services to the migrant workers in these countries.

By the end of the year the Bank hopes to sign agreements with VISA and MasterCard and will look at entering into a partnership with an Indian Bank to help customers on regular pilgrimage to India.

The Bank is transforming itself from a passive player to a dynamic and modern retail banker employing the most sophisticated technologies.

It has been playing a significant role in the life and times of Sri Lanka and now it is re-positioning itself to meet the demands of a globalised economy and the lifestyle changes of the new millennium. One of our business goals is to expand to the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ customer base.

NSB will continue to invest in state-of-the-art IT and skills development for its staff.

MoneyGram recipients to receive air tickets

Two return air tickets to Mumbai are up for grabs for MoneyGram customers of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, with the launch of a new promotion.

To be run during September and October, the promotion will also present caps for the first 500 recipients of MoneyGram remittances during this period while all recipients would be entered into the final draw for the air tickets, the Bank said.

“We have launched this promotion to increase awareness about our MoneyGram service and extraordinary convenience and speed it offers when remittances are channelled through our Bank,” said Senior Manager of e-Banking Division of Commercial Bank Pradeep Banduwansa.

The Commercial Bank signed up with MoneyGram, the global funds transfer company last year to further enhance the Bank’s market share in the remittance business and to expand its presence to the other parts of the world, especially the West.

The Bank offers remitters the ability to transfer funds quickly from over 152,000 locations in 180 countries and for payments in Sri Lanka to be collected at 167 branches of Commercial Bank. The benefit of collecting payment through Commercial Bank would be that these funds can be collected on any day of the year through the over 40 Holiday Banking and Saturday Banking Centres of the Bank including the 22 Supermarket Counters covering most major towns which are open till 7.30 pm everyday on a 365-day basis.

Customers who use MoneyGram from Commercial Bank are also guaranteed that the full amount of the remittance will be paid, with no charges to the beneficiary.

Commercial Bank opens branch in Puttalam

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has opened a branch in Puttalam, in a spacious building with ample parking facilities at Kurunegala Road, Puttalam, thereby extending its services to this important district in the North-Western Province.

This Branch will serve a large number of surrounding towns and villages such as Palavi, Norochcholai, Kalpitiya, Anamaduwa, Vanathavilluwa and Madurankuliya in addition to serving the business and personal customers of Puttalam.

This branch will also be a boon to the large number of the residents from this area who are employed abroad, making it very convenient for their dependants in Sri Lanka to receive monies remitted under the Bank’s e-Exchange Funds Transfer System, the bank said.

The new branch is linked to all other Commercial Bank branches and the Supermarket Banking Counters islandwide permitting online real-time banking.

It is also equipped with an ATM linked to 320 ATMs of Commercial Bank, over 1,000 other ATMs locally and over one million ATMs belonging to the Cirrus and Visa networks worldwide.

Nations corporate quiz ends successfully

Executive Director of Nations Trust Bank PLC Sarath Piyaratna with Deputy CEO at Nations Trust Bank PLC Iftikar Ahamed with the winning team from Amba Research.

Nations Trust Bank Corporate Quiz took place at the Waters Edge Grand Ballroom recently. Thirty nine teams drawn from Sri Lanka’s corporate elite battled it out to gain supremacy with the theme of the event set on a popular TV series. Based on the theme of ‘surviving’ the corporate jungle, the event was complete with tribal d‚cor, lights and a blazing flame within a forest setting that added to the excitement of the night.

Each team or tribe in this case that comprised five members, faced a barrage of questions that tested them through five different rounds of questions covering the following topics, Nations Trust Bank, Financial Markets, Current Affairs, Sports and Entertainment. Each tribe had also to make a strategic decision on where they could gain advantage and earn ‘bonus points’.

Deputy CEO at Nations Trust Bank PLC Iftikar Ahamed with runners up team from John Keells Holdings.

The final winners Amba Research walked away with a Quarter Million Rupees as the prize money and the runners up John Keells Holdings received One Hundred Thousand Rupees in cash. Brandix secured third place followed by Hayleys Industrial, Aitken Spence and Carsons Cumberbatch.

Speaking on the occasion, Zulfiqar Zavahir Director/CEO of Nations Trust bank PLC said, “Engaging the who’s who of the corporate world in a friendly battle of the wits has indeed been an exciting and much looked forward to event. Nations Trust Bank is pleased to conduct this annual event for the third consecutive year.”

Deputy CEO Iftikar Ahamed further added, “Nations Trust brings together a unique blend of talent and a very inspired team that has enabled us to fashion creative solutions for our corporate clients both at work and otherwise. This event was a manifestation of that willingness and drive to provide our customers with the best”.


HNB enters Bibile

Assistant General Manager, International, of HNB, Reshanka Abeysekara, accepting the first deposit.

Hatton National Bank recently opened its 172nd customer centre in far-flung Bibile. An extension office of HNB’s Monaragala Customer centre, the customer centre at Bibile was opened recently by Assistant General Manager International, HNB Reshanka Abeysekara. Hatton National Bank is also one of the banks providing ATM facilities in the area.

Holding its own through paddy cultivation and other agricultural activities, Bibile has thus been out reach of absolute urbanisation. This is probably the reason why most private commercial banks have thus far shied away from taking their services to the locality.

Addressing the gathering at the opening, Abeysekara spoke about the importance of banking services for the people of the area; especially for the families of locals working abroad as housemaids, for those in need of pawning services, the Moneygram service and more. “We are perhaps the country’s most seasoned bank when it comes to providing banking services in rural areas, and the branch at Bibile is a part of our efforts to take banking services to all of Sri Lanka especially the rural masses who have thus far been deprived of such facilities,” he said.

Today, HNB provides its expertise and services through a large network of customer centres across the island. It is also the only bank to have not forgotten the more rural villages, taking banking to the provincial areas too, when for the first time in the commercial banking history of Sri Lanka, the Bank introduced a barefoot banker named ‘Gami Pupuduwa Upadeshaka’ through its Gami Pubuduwa Village Awakening Programme.

CDB schols for three wheeler owners’ children

The new initiative launched by Ceylinco Development Bank Ltd (CDB), themed as “CDB Sisudiri” focuses on three Wheeler (3W) sector, targeting the three wheeler owners children who have passed grade five scholarship examination with highest results.

It is the first ever project done in the country focusing on this sector intending to enhance the child’s future education and to help realising the three wheeler owners’ aspiration of educating their children in a time when the cost of living is high.

26 talented students, children of three wheeler owners who have obtained highest results in their respective districts at the year five Scholarship exam in 2007 were rewarded with scholarships.

CDB also intends to develop this scholarship in such a manner where it will be given in stages from Grade six to Grade 11 (O/L); hence making it much more beneficial for children to facilitate their educational needs upto GCE O/L.

The main objective behind CDB Sisudiri Programme is to help the three wheeler owners’ children to have better educational prospects. “CDB Sisudiri” also intends on launching the GCE O/L and GCE A/L scholarship Programme for the three wheeler owners’ children later this year.

Chairman Industrial Finance

Shirley Perera was appointed as the Chairman of Industrial Finance Limited. Shirley Perera assumed duties as the Chairman of the Industrial Finance Limited, the most recent acquisition by the Aspic Group of companies effective September 1.

Perera started his career with Aspic Corporation as the Managing Director/CEO of Central Investments and Finance Limited (CIFL) in 2004 and since then was serving as the Deputy Chairman of CIFL. He counts over 42 years of experience of which 22 years are in banking and 20 years in finance. Shirley Perera was the Senior Manager International Division, People’s Bank and was the Managing

Director/CEO of L B finance Limited and Merchant credit of Sri Lanka Ltd. He is also the chairman of the Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka for the second successive year and was the District Governor of the District 306A-1 of the International Association of Lions Clubs.

Perera, a graduate in Public Administration from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, has a postgraduate diploma in Bank Management, the highest professional qualification available to bankers in Sri Lanka. He had also undergone training in AOTS, Osaka, Japan on Financial Management. He has been awarded the Entrepreneur of the year merit award for three consecutive years by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries in Sri Lanka (FCCISL)


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