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Organisational Overview

About the Bank

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Higher-tier Domestic Systemically Important Bank

Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC is the only private sector Bank in Sri Lanka that has been designated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as a higher-tier Domestic Systemically Important Bank (D-SIB). The Commercial Bank Group (which comprise of the Bank and its subsidiaries and an associate) total assets stood at 1.983 Tn. as at December 31, 2021. Accounting for approximately 10.42%, 11.58% and 11.82% of sector loans and advances, deposits and assets, respectively, the Bank is the third largest bank overall in Sri Lanka, in terms of total assets, customer deposits and net loans & advances which stood at Rs. 1.949 Tn. (USD 9.746 Bn.), Rs. 1.443 Tn. (USD 7.215 Bn.) and Rs. 1.015 Tn. (USD 5.073 Bn.), respectively, as at the end of 2021.

Over Hundred Plus Year Legacy

The origins of the Bank date back to 1920, and marks just over a half-century of operations under its present name in 2021. With a total staff strength of 5,072 as at end 2021, the Bank serves over 3.5 million customers through a wide local and international network of branches, subsidiaries, agency arrangements, Business Promotion Officers, and correspondent banking relationships.

Growing International Footprint

Commercial Bank began its expansion beyond Sri Lanka’s shores with the acquisition of the Bangladesh operations of Crédit Agricole Indosuez in 2003, and became the first private sector bank to establish a branch operation outside the country. Since then, three subsidiaries have been established by the Bank in Italy, the Maldives and Myanmar. The Bank is exploring the possibilities of expanding its presence to a few more countries in the near future.

Risk Profile

Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. (Fitch) affirmed Commercial Bank’s National Long-term Rating at 'AA-(lka)' with a stable outlook in August 2021. In addition, the Bank’s Bangladesh Operation’s credit rating was reaffirmed at AAA by Credit Rating Information Services Ltd in June 2021 for the 11th consecutive year. This reflects the Bank’s intrinsic financial strength, the established domestic franchise as Sri Lanka's third-largest bank and the entrenched domestic deposit franchise that underpins the Bank’s funding and liquidity profile.


The Bank’s business is well-diversified across four main business segments - Personal Banking, Corporate Banking, Treasury, and International Operations. The International Operations of the Bank, which now accounts for 12.38% of consolidated assets and 18.63% of consolidated profit before taxes, covers operations in Bangladesh, Maldives, Italy, and Myanmar. Besides geographical diversification, the Bank has successfully achieved a high level of diversification in its operations across several parameters such as customer profile, currency, products and services portfolio, funding profile, maturity profile, economic sectors and the sources of revenue.

Vibrant financial intermediation

Commercial Bank became the first private sector bank in Sri Lanka to have three key balance sheet indicators to surpass Rs. 1 Tn., having crossed Rs. 1 Tn. mark in assets and deposits in 2016 and 2019 respectively and the loan book in Q2 of 2021. Demonstrating its strong role as a financial intermediary, 74.03% of the total assets of the Bank are funded by customer deposits. The Bank’s loans to deposits ratio has been over 78% on average for the past five years consecutively, reflecting a growth in loans commensurate with the growth in deposits. The Bank’s asset quality is one of the best in the industry, while its Current Accounts and Savings Accounts (CASA) is the highest among the peer banks accounting for 47.83% of total deposits.

Strong capitalisation

The Bank’s Tier 1 Capital Ratio and Total Capital Ratio stood at 11.923% and 15.650%, respectively, as at December 31, 2021, compared to the regulatory minimum ratios of 9% and 13% applicable for the year. The Bank’s growth was prudent with gearing in terms of on-balance sheet assets as well as risk-weighted assets remaining at 11.82 times and 6.39 times, respectively, as of the end of 2021. Demonstrating the strength of the franchise, the Bank’s shares reported the highest price to book value of 0.57 times and the highest market capitalisation of Rs. 94 Bn. (USD 470.963 Mn.) among the banking sector on the Colombo Stock Exchange at year’s end (the Bank is the ninth largest institution listed on the CSE overall).

Ownership of the Bank

Of the 16,609 ordinary voting shareholders of the Bank at end of 2021, DFCC Bank PLC held 12.12% and entities related to the State, including Employees’ Provident Fund, Employees’ Trust Fund Board and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, collectively held 18.95% of Bank’s shares. Mr Y S H I Silva (9.88%), the International Finance Corporation (7.11%), Melstacorp PLC (4.14%), CB NY S/A IFC Emerging Asia Fund LP (3.67%), CB NY S/A IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund LP (3.67%), and Citibank New York S/A Norges Bank Account 2 (3.63%), are the other major shareholders, holding a combined ownership stake of 32.10%. Notably, the Bank has a substantial foreign shareholding, with foreign shareholders owning a combined 20.59% stake in the Bank.