Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC

Annual Report 2018

Material Matters

As a responsible corporate citizen and one that is focused on running a sustainable business, the Bank's strategy centres on creating value: Delivering value to stakeholders and, in turn, deriving value from them. Creating value responsibly means first understanding the needs of the stakeholder against the overarching trends which impact our operations.

Being relevant to stakeholders, however, means ensuring that our strategy is fit for the times. For the year under review, the Bank first analysed its external environment to identify matters arising from emerging trends and their relevance to key stakeholder groups, as given below:

Next, the Bank mapped matters material to the Bank according to their impact on stakeholders and the Bank itself, categorising them as risks, opportunities or both, as portrayed in the matrices that follow. For the purpose of this study, the Bank defined material matters as those that significantly affect the Bank’s ability to create value over the short, medium and long term. Materiality of each matter is determined by its relevance, the magnitude of its impact, and the probability of occurrence.

Following this study, the Bank identified four strategic imperatives, and the strategies necessary to seize opportunities, mitigate risks and continue its value creation journey, as outlined in the section on Management Discussion and Analysis

Management approach

The Bank manages its material topics through its strategic planning process by assigning responsibility to the heads of the relevant divisions of the Bank, allocating necessary resources based on the significance of each material topic towards achieving the aforesaid strategic imperatives. Goals and targets, where relevant are embedded into the KPIs of the Key Management Personnel to ensure that the organisation achieve its objectives with regard to its material topics and are reviewed at regular intervals.

Many policies are in place guiding its people to conduct activities in a responsible, transparent, and ethical manner in managing the material topics. These policies are duly adopted by the Board of Directors and are reviewed at predetermined intervals to stay current with the changing environment.

Where relevant grievance mechanisms are in place with assigned responsibility to the relevant divisional heads to manage, address and resolve grievances.

Screening is carried out into the social and environmental aspects of the Bank’s lending to its customers and dealings with its business partners.

Internal and external auditing and verifications are carried out to ensure that the internal controls, policies and procedures laid down to achieve the objectives of material topics are adhered to. Findings are reported to the Board of Directors and/or to the Management Committees on a regular basis for corrective action where necessary.

External ratings and awards and accolades bear testimony to the success of the Bank’s approach in managing its affairs.

While majority of material matters affect the Bank’s economic performance (GRI 201: Economic Performance) following are matters identified by the Bank as material where GRI disclosures are made within this report.

Table – 04
Reference Material matter GRI Disclosure
14D Cybersecurity threats GRI 418: Customer Privacy
15C Need to enhance productivity GRI 404: Training and Education
GRI 405: Diversity and Equal Opportunity
15D Technology driving change
in job skills
GRI 404: Training and Education
GRI 405: Diversity and Equal Opportunity
16C Staff recruitment and retention become more challenging GRI 401: Employment
17E Increasing frequency and magnitude of natural disasters and poor disaster preparedness GRI 302: Energy
GRI 305: Emissions
20C Being classified as a hub for money laundering GRI 205: Anti-corruption
21C Infrastructure out of sync with development needs GRI 203: Indirect Economic Impact