by Sanath Nanayakkare
As the 3rd and 4th quarters of the year 2022 are also likely to be heading for a difficult period, the Bank of Ceylon must continue to focus on the efficient management of its resources and finances, the chairman of the bank said yesterday. BOC, Kanchana Ratwatte.
He made the remarks when the Bank celebrated its 83rd anniversary yesterday at the BOC headquarters in Colombo, where a large number of key Bank staff were present whose work interfaces with accounts, transactions, remittances. funds, export circle, SME circle, international trade, etc. .
“Remember that the significant rise in interest rates has affected most companies and that the recoveries of the 3rd and 4th quarters will be impacted. So if we’re not careful how we handle our finances, we’re going to make life difficult for our end customers. We have to take care of our customers because they pay our wages,” he told BOC employees.
Speaking further, the BOC Chairman said, “We made a profit per tax of over 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 fuel shortages and power outages, almost every industry and every segment of society has been affected. So at BOC, we will see its impact on our balance sheet. In this context, we must be careful how we manage our resources.
“Over 40% of the Bank of Ceylon’s revenue comes from the public sector. Our profit comes significantly from this segment. The remaining 60% comes from the private sector. In this scenario, we have to be all the more cautious in the third and fourth quarters of the year, which are going to be even more impacted due to the current scenario.
“I expect that if there is help coming in from outside, it will be in the last quarter of this year. And if it doesn’t come in the last quarter of this year , we are not going to survive as a country. I am convinced that in the 3rd and 4th quarters, we should have something to look forward to. BOC, on its own, is looking at a number of sources of funding. We have formed committees for this purpose and we try to ensure that any funding shortfalls are filled.
“The challenge would be the impact of everything that is happening now. The lack of fuel has an impact on the transport sector as well as on the electricity sector. When there are power outages and people can’t get to work, the resulting fallout would be reflected in the financial statements for the next quarter. »
“The impact of the devaluation of the rupee is being felt now. The exchange rate went from Rs. 200 to Rs. 360. This affects our imports. I think over time this should sort itself out.
“BOC has made significant achievements over the past two years in supporting the national effort in the fight against COVID-19. We have spent a lot on the vaccination program. At that time, the country was short of hospital beds and everyone was helping to set up beds, at which time the BOC conceptualized a home care system and successfully implemented it. We have reached the milestone of 154,000 patients at home under this program”.
“Apart from this, the Bank has set up a Business Recovery and Rehabilitation Department (BRR) and extended its operations to all provinces, strengthening its assistance to local business organizations to recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic, in addition to the moratoriums. ”
The BRR unit has already accounted for more than Rs. 30 billion in company takeovers. It came straight to the balance sheet in addition to peripherals worth Rs. 17 billion.
“So those are the important milestones that the Bank has taken during the critical period.”
“Today we are facing a number of problems and they could be even more serious in the coming year and we must be aware of this fact,” the BOC chairman said.
To mark this special day, BOC symbolically launched the “My Health” account underlining its spirit of innovation by offering new added values to customers. The Bank has also launched BOC Foreign Circle, a specialized unit aimed at providing superior quality to clients based abroad.