Strategic Highlights for the year 2020 are organised around the Bank’s four Strategic Imperatives. While the Financial Highlights captures the key details of the Bank’s financial performance, the Strategic Highlights encapsulates how this performance was achieved in the context of the Bank’s long-term vision. The Financial Highlights provide the reader of this report with a snapshot of the Financial Review, and the Strategic Highlights are a summary of the Management Discussion and Analysis , which is similarly structured around the four Strategic Imperatives.
- Made a private placement of shares with the IFC amounting to USD 50 Mn. (Rs. 9.215 Bn.), the first foreign equity placement by the Bank.
- Bank’s overseas operations now contribute over 11% of the assets and 20% of the pre-tax profits.
- Increased the provision for impairment to Rs. 21.484 Bn. for the year 2020, the highest ever annual provision in the history of the Bank.
- Further strengthened the systems, processes and controls relating to the ethics and conduct of the Bank during the year.
- Increased Credit Card Usage Market share to 11.55% and Debit Card Usage Market share to 32%.
- Grew Point-of-Sale (POS) volumes by 20%, becoming the fastest growing POS network in the country.
- Increased Imports and Exports market share to 10.17% and 19.0%, respectively.
- Issued a Position Statement on Climate Change, affirming its commitment to combating Climate change at the highest level of the Bank.
Leading through innovation
- Integrated online and mobile banking channels on a single omni-channel platform with the launch of “ComBank Digital”.
- Upgraded Flash, the Bank’s ground-breaking, trilingual digital wallet, with various features including a module (integrated with the UN-approved Environment Impact Index for financial transactions) to allow customers to track the carbon footprint of their spending habits.
- Initiated a Digital Roadmap up to 2023 that prioritises redesigning conventional banking processes as digital processes, integrating with other ecosystems, upgrading internal systems to be prepared to capitalise on changes in the regulatory environment, and developing talent and building partnerships.
- Increased digital onboarding of existing customers by 140%.
- Launched ComBank Simple Pay, a new platform to help SMEs digitise their business and engage in e-commerce.
- Launched “Arunella”, a Financial Support Scheme that integrated multiple relief initiatives, guided by CBSL directives but going above and beyond them to cover as many struggling customers as possible.
- Remained the leading lender amongst the private sector banks in the Saubagya loan scheme.
- Extent of loans under moratorium during wave 1 of the pandemic was approximately Rs. 290 Bn. and loans under moratorium at the end of 2020 was approximately Rs. 132 Mn.
- Initiated two major loan programmes for SMEs affected by the pandemic: a Rs. 10 Bn. scheme funded through a loan of USD 50 Mn. from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and a working capital scheme, Dirishakthi, for Micro enterprises.
- Deployed “Bank-on-Wheels” Mobile Banking Units, and increased existing fleet from 5 to 11 by outfitting vehicles with mobile POS units.
- Established seven new SME sales units and introduced the SME Lead Management System (SME LMS) to drive SME initiatives in the Northern, Eastern and North Central Regions.
- Increased membership in BizClub from 1,613 to 4,076.
- Launched one-stop trilingual Integrated Contact Centre to serve customers and other stakeholders 24/7.
- Implemented a range of operational measures, including: splitting teams and setting up protocols for working at alternate sites and from home; providing food, lodging, transport, and personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of all staff; and outfitting branches with partitions, sanitisers and instituting other best practices for social distancing and hygiene to safeguard customers.
- Adopted an industry leading remote access solution, which offers multiple layers of security, to facilitate remote working and working from home.
- Paid all scheduled increments and bonuses in full, affirming financial commitments to the staff.
- Concluded successful negotiation of the Bank’s collective bargaining agreement with the Bank branch of the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU).
- Launched pension fund for employees recruited after 2000.
- Became the first bank in Sri Lanka to achieve carbon neutral status.