Since 2019, the country has been through several traumatic events, the Easter Sunday attack, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic crisis and social unrest of 2022. The Bank had to revisit its medium-term objectives and reprioritise according to immediate term for necessities that arose after the disruptive effects of the pandemic and the economic crisis. While we adapted to these new developments, our commitment to becoming the most Customer Centric Bank, which is “Data-Driven” and “Digitally Enabled”, remains steadfast amidst this altered environment as it is in alignment with new realities. This tactical adjustment of our priorities which included a rebalancing of our assets book has ensured that the Bank was able to safely navigate the uncertainties and adverse economic conditions prevalent during much of the year while improving its performance across almost all metrics.

Although there was formerly an intention to formulate a new medium-term plan in 2023, given the realities of the situation, this turned out to be impracticable. The absence of a clear domestic economic direction, delays in the eagerly awaited resolution of Sri Lanka’s debt negotiations with domestic and external creditors and the IMF, and possible elections in 2024 are serious variables that can cause significant changes to the economy, either negative or positive. A decisive conclusion on these factors can support the formulation of meaningful medium-term priorities. These difficulties are also compounded by external events such as the Russo-Ukrainian war and the turmoil in the Middle East.

The three strategic pillars enunciated in the 2019 plan remain in place:

  • Enhance Customer Centricity – Placing the customer at the centre of the Bank’s operations.
  • Become a Top-of-Mind Retail Bank – Expanding brand reach and acquiring mind share.
  • Optimise Key Customer Facing Operations – Raising the efficacy, speed, and convenience of processes to give the customer the best experience.


One of the aspects of our future strategy will be the realisation of an optimum balance between profitability and scale. Striking such a balance will optimise the utilisation of our resources while yielding the best results for all stakeholders concerned.

Nevertheless, one area where we have out-performed expectations, as they were in 2019, has been digitalisation. This was initially heavily driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Another factor has been the strong preference for digital transactions among the millennial generation, who prefer to avoid physical visits to a branch except for account opening. Indeed, with the advent of remote account opening, even this has become unnecessary, as the necessary verifications can be carried out through video conferencing.

Internet banking, mobile banking, and even agency banking are replacing brick-and-mortar banking. This drastic transformation has significantly impacted marketing channels the Bank leverages. A hybrid form combining digital channels (Mobile Banking, Internet Banking, MySpace, DFCC Galaxy Virtual Banking, etc) and brick-and-mortar branches is the way of the future. Particularly, the marketing reach out to the younger generation will have to be through digital channels, mainly social media platforms, given their digitally native lifestyles and consumption.

DFCC Approach towards Sustainability

In 2023, the Bank essentially continued with its sustainability strategy, implementing its vision and approach laid out in the 2020-2030 Sustainability Strategy. Despite the travails that the country and the entire banking sector faced in 2022, DFCC is steadfast in its commitment to fulfil its social and environmental responsibilities.

We remain unwavering in our conviction that maintaining a triple-bottom-line focus on people, the planet, and profits ensures our long-term sustainability, growth, and profitability. Supporting environment-friendly practices and promoting social inclusion are part of the Bank’s ethos. The structure of the Bank’s sustainability strategy consists of a Sustainability Vision, Sustainability Dimensions, Key Goals, and Key Focus Areas, which are tabulated below. It is also aligned with 13 of the UN SDGs and is also supported by five key enablers. DFCC achieved a major milestone when it became the first Sri Lankan entity to receive accreditation from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

DFCC Sustainability Framework 2020-2030

Sustainability Vision

To be the leading Bank contributing towards sustainability by 2030



Impact for


Contributing to sustainable
economic growth

Promoting positive social and
environmental impacts

Advancing sustainable
workplaces and lifestyles

Key Goals

The Bank for Green
Finance by 2030

Carbon neutral Bank
by 2030

Achieve sustainable
work lifestyle by 2030

Key Focus
  • Promote green finance (5% by 2025 and 10% by 2030 of the portfolio*)
  • Promote/empower sustainable and social entrepreneurs (5% financing)
  • Improve resource efficiency
  • Be a digitally enabled Bank by 2025
  • Be a clean air champion
  • Be paperless by 2024
  • Strengthen ecosystems and institutions
  • Promote equal opportunity employment (15% by 2025 and 30% women in management and 1% marginalised groups by 2030)
  • Great place to work
  • Promote staff and customer well being
Six Cross
Cutting Themes
education elderly emergency_relief entrepreneurship environment excercise
Align with UN SDGs
icon1 icon2 icon3 icon4 icon5 icon6 icon7 icon8 icon9 icon10 icon11 icon12 icon13
Key Enablers




flda flda


flda flda


flda flda



* Targets were set prior to the introduction of the Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy, and is subject to revision.

2-9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18

Bank’s Approach towards Sustainable Finance Activities and the Way Forward

As Sri Lanka’s “Pioneer Development Bank”, DFCC Bank has been a leading project financier in the country for more than 68+ years. The Bank has also been the financier of trail-blazing Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, particularly during their risky early stages. DFCC Bank is still the preferred lender for “Green” development projects, including all types of Renewable Energy projects.

Building on its historical achievements in project financing, as well as understanding the importance of sustainable financing in the current context, the Bank has set a goal of becoming “The Bank for Green Finance” under its Sustainability Strategy 2020 – 2030. Accordingly, the Bank is making necessary internal changes to structures and processes to achieve this goal and meet statutory and other requirements pertaining to sustainable finance.

In addition to our sustainability policies and agenda, we have also made necessary arrangements to adhere to the initiatives of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on Sustainable Finance, such as the Road Map for Sustainable Finance in Sri Lanka (2019), Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy (2022) and the Banking Act Direction No. 5 of 2022 on “Sustainable Finance Activities of Licensed Banks” (2022). Accordingly, the Bank is also placing greater emphasis on innovation and training its staff on Sustainable Finance, and in 2023, upgraded its internal data capturing processes to meet the quarterly reporting requirements of CBSL on Sustainable Financing Activities and to adjust to future demands in this area.

The two Subcommittees which have continued since 2020, “Green Finance Subcommittee” and “Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship Subcommittee”, conduct capacity-building programmes to the credit staff on sustainable finance and identify and classify compatible facilities specified in the Green Finance Taxonomy published by the CBSL. Further, the Bank continues to integrate ESG-related matters in credit decision-making and to disclose our environmental and social impact through the business activities.

The sustainability initiatives carried out during the year, including sustainable finance activities and way forward, are described in the Social Capital (pages 136 to 141) and Natural Capital (pages 142 to 150) sections of this report.

Sustainability Governance

Sustainability governance is an integral part of the Bank’s sustainability policy. The Executive Sustainability Management Committee (ESMC) oversees all sustainability-related matters, operating under the Board and led by the Chief Executive Officer. The committee has broad representation, including many key management personnel as members.

The ESMC usually meets every six weeks to ensure the proper implementation of the Sustainability Strategy, make decisions regarding CSR activities, and provide required guidance and support.

Under the guidance of the ESMC, the Sustainability Unit gets involved in planning, implementing and monitoring sustainability initiatives.

DFCC Sustainability Organogram

Board of Directors
DFCC Sustainability

Directors (02),
CEO, CFO, CLO, VP-Sustainability and

Credit Committee

(For implementation
of ESMS)

Sustainability Management
Committee – ESMC

(Headed by the Chief
Executive Officer)

Marketing and Sustainability Department

(through Vice President - Head of Marketing and

5 Task Forces
6E Champions

12 members


168 members

Committee for

6 members


The DFCC Sustainability Trust is established to engage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives including the promotion of the six cross cutting themes (6Es) of the Bank, as well as its sustainability targets. The Trust is set up so as to provide more transparency and accountability.

The Sustainability Unit also reports to the Credit Committee on environmental and social compliance matters.

Employee Engagement in Sustainability

At DFCC, we believe that sustainability is not a matter that concerns the senior management alone, but requires the commitment and cooperation of staff at all levels. Hence, DFCC identifies that the active engagement of employees in its sustainability initiatives is a crucial component for the success and continuity of such efforts. This contributes to achieving sustainability goals and enhances employee satisfaction, motivation and overall organisational success. Inculcating an attitude of “Sustainability is now a way of life”, all employees are encouraged to take the sustainability pledge of the Bank. Further, the Sustainability Unit along with the HR Department conducts sustainability-related training sessions for the staff covering ESG aspects. “Sustainability Champions” are appointed across the DFCC network to represent each department/branch for sustainability engagements. Sustainability-oriented tasks, action points, and measurement matrices are built into the Sustainability Champions’ staff evaluation and appraisal processes. Another fifteen team members are appointed to 6 CSR pillars – 6Es to propose and drive CSR activities.

DFCC Sustainability Pledge

I promise: that I will make every endeavour to care for Planet Earth and all living things;

Contribute towards DFCC’s Sustainability activities for a more resilient Sri Lanka by actively supporting DFCC’s sustainability goals and targets;

To treat all persons with dignity, respect and friendliness;

Use as little of our non-renewable resources as possible;

Minimise use of toxic chemicals, pesticides and other poisons and encourage others to do the same;

Support the less fortunate to become self-sufficient and have a decent life including clean air and water, food, health care, housing, education and individual rights;

Contribute towards the six cross cutting themes (6Es): Education, Elderly, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Emergency Relief and Exercise.

I will make a difference for the environment and society. DFCC Bank can count on me to help protect our planet.

Employee Engagement – Sustainability Unit

Subcommittees, Task Forces and OMMM Committee for Wellness


6E Champions (For 6E CSR Pillars)


Sustainability Champions (Branches/

Task Force on Energy Efficiency/Sustainable Facilities Management
  • Review energy consumption of the Bank
  • Develop a roadmap to improve Energy Efficiency
  • Disseminate knowledge and awareness for staff on energy
  • Identify sustainable facilities management requirements across the Bank
Task Force on Paper Reduction
  • Drive different initiatives to reduce paper consumption within various business processes
  • Review paper consumption data, recommend priorities, monitor KPIs, and conduct paper audits
Task Force on Green Finance and Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Implement a Green Finance classification system for internal use and integrate into the core banking system
  • Identify and promote sustainable and social entrepreneurs
  • Strengthen staff capabilities through training and establishing targets
Task Force on Sustainable Procurement
  • Ensure proper implementation of sustainable procurement in the bank
Task Force on HR Sustainability and OMMM Committee for Wellness
  • Ensure that sustainability becomes a part of the cultural psyche and work ethic of the employees
  • Ensure staff are duly acknowledged, appreciated for sustainability initiatives and responsibilities
  • Ensure staff well-being through wellness activities