by Sanath Nanayakkare
As the 3rd and 4th quarters of the year 2022 are also likely to be a difficult time, the Bank of Ceylon must continue to focus on managing its resources and finances efficiently, BOC chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said yesterday.
He made these remarks as the Bank celebrated its 83rd birthday yesterday at the BOC headquarters in Colombo, which was attended by a large number of key Bank employees whose work interfaces with accounts, transactions, remittances, Export Circle, SME Circle, international trade, etc. . .
“Remember, the significant rise in interest rates has impacted most businesses and the recovery in Q3 and Q4 will also have an impact. So if we’re not careful about how we manage our finances, we’re going to make it hard for our end customers. We have to take care of our customers because they pay for our wages,” he told BOC employees.
Furthermore, the BOC chairman said: “We made a profit per tax of more than Rs.43 billion in 2021. However, the Bank reported a pre-tax profit of Rs. 9.5 billion for the period ending March 31, 2022. Due to the fuel shortage and power cuts, almost all industries and all segments of society have been negatively affected. So we at BOC will see its impact on our balance sheet. In this context, we need to be careful about how we manage our resources.”
“More than 40% of the Bank of Ceylon’s revenue comes from the public sector. Our profit is significantly taken from that segment. The balance 60% comes from the private sector. In this scenario, we need to be all the more cautious in the third and fourth quarters of the year, which will be even more affected by the current scenario.”
“My expectation is that if outside help comes it will be in the last quarter of this year. And if it doesn’t come in the last quarter of this year, we will not survive as a country. I am confident that “We have something to look forward to in Q3 and Q4. BOC is only looking at a few funding sources. We’ve formed committees for that and we’re trying to make sure that any funding gap is bridged.”
“The challenge would be the impact of everything that is happening now. The lack of fuel affects both the transport and energy sectors. When there are power outages and people can’t commute to work, the spillovers associated with them would be reflected in the next quarter’s financial statement.
“The impact of the rupee devaluation is now being felt. The exchange rate shot up from Rs. 200 to Rs. 360. You can see that in our import. I believe that should be resolved over a period of time.”
“BOC has made significant progress over the past two years by supporting national efforts in the fight against COVID-19. We spent a lot on the vaccination program. At that time, the country was short of hospital beds and everyone helped to install beds. At that time, the BOC devised a home care system and successfully implemented it. With this program we have reached the milestone of 154,000 home care patients”.
“Apart from this, the Bank has set up a Business Revival and Rehabilitation (BRR) department and expanded its activities to all provinces to promote its assistance to local business organizations to come back to life from the ill effects of the pandemic, in addition to moratoria. ”
BRR unit is already worth more than Rs. 30 billion in business ups and downs. It immediately entered the balance sheet alongside peripherals worth Rs. 17 billion.”
“So these were the key milestones that the bank has achieved during its critical period.”
“Today we are dealing with a number of problems and they could be even more serious in the following year and we have to take that into account,” said BOC chairman.
To mark this special day, BOC symbolically launched a “My Health” account, highlighting its innovative spirit in delivering new value additions to customers. The Bank also launched BOC Foreign Circle, a specialized unit focused on providing superior quality to customers abroad.