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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » BOC Chairmanship: Don’t appoint political stooge, says outgoing chief

BOC Chairmanship: Don’t appoint political stooge, says outgoing chief

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* Namal had nothing to do with it: Achieved targets, higher authorities’ lack of vision cited for resignation

State owned banking giant Bank of Ceylon (BOC) Chairman Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe says he would resign from the bank on January 08, after President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom he is related to, accepted his resignation which he had tendered last August.

"Since I took over in 2007, BOC’s profits, assets, deposits and trade have all grown more than three times. I have achieved all my targets so I have decided to resign. Another reason for my resignation is the Treasury’s inability to increase the bank’s capital. Without adequate capital the bank cannot reach greater heights, such as expand overseas. Each year, one third of the profit is ploughed back into capital and this would be enough to maintain the status-quo. Unaudited accounts for 2012 indicates a profit of Rs. 20 billion, no other entity in this country can come close to this. I have brought the bank to such a level that anyone (as chairman) can comfortably continue the good work," Dr. Wickramasinghe told journalists yesterday (01).

Dr. Wickramasinghe said BOC’s capital adequacy was well within the regulatory requirement.

"Without fresh capital it would be impossible for the bank to reach greater heights and realise its true potential. We submitted a proposal to the Treasury before the budget, suggesting methods that can be used which would not burden the Treasury or the bank, but unfortunately we did not get a favourable response," the BOC Chairman said not elaborating, although hinting at a bond issued up to US$ 500 million, which the bank was quite capable of achieving.

He said his resignation was tendered to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in August but agreed to stay on until a suitable replacement was found.

"My only request to the President was that a political henchman should not be appointed because this could unravel all that we have achieved. There have always been pressure from politicians for jobs and loans but we have always mitigated this and did things by the book, otherwise the bank cannot survive," Dr. Wickramasinghe said.

Media reports hinted at some friction between Dr. Wickramasinghe and the President’s son Namal Rajapaksa MP, allegedly over jobs or loans, which we cannot verify.

"He is a young politician and you know how young people are. He asked me a certain question and I gave him a suitable answer but that was that. There is no friction or problem between us," he said in response to a question whether his resignation had anything to do with Namal Rajapaksa.

Dr. Wickramasinghe said the only future for the bank was expansion overseas.

"If we expand domestically, smaller banks, and even some of the larger ones, could get hurt given our size and function. The only option is to invest in overseas expansion which would bring in foreign currency into the country.

"We had plans to open branches all over the world wherever a Sri Lankan community can be found, not just in the Middle East but in Europe and North America as well. We planned to increase our branch network in India. We had plans to be a regional player, providing third party banking services to Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis. To do all this, we need more capital," he said.




1. Raised USD 210 million, the largest internationally syndicated debt by an Sri Lankan issuer.

2. Appointed co-manager of historic USD 500 million debut bond issued by the Government of Sri Lanka

3. Commences "Gam Udana" Village Development Programme for deposit mobilization


1. Raised Rs. 4.2 billion via a listed subordinated rupee debenture of five years

2. Raised USD 21.6 million via a private placement of a five year subordinated dollar debenture.

3. Extends online banking to the Maldives enabling expatriate customers to access their accounts

4. First SMS based mobile scheme introduced by BoC, partnered with Paymate – available free of charge to BoC customers

5. BoC Annual Report 2007 wins Gold at the prestigious annual ARC awards held in New York.


1. Celebrated 70th Anniversary

2. The first State Bank to launch an Islamic Banking Unit, which operates through island wide network.

3. Brought in Kilinochchi, Mankulam and Mulllativu branches into online branch network, the operations of which were disrupted during the war.

4. In aftermath of war, set up mobile banking centres for IDPS offering free bank services thereby coming to their aid after they endured many years of suffering.

5. Established a post conflict corporate plan titled One10Twelve to raise 10 billion in profits and 1 trillion in assets by the year 2012

6. Commenced operations of 24 hour Call Centre enhancing customer service commitment


1. Converted London Branch to an independent fully owned subsidiary of BoC operating in the UK.

2. Established a successful investment banking unit.

3. Bank successfully raised Rs. 5 billion in the second public issue of unsecured, subordinated, redeemable five year debentures.

4. First State Bank to establish a 24 hour Service Point

5. Achieved profit target of 10 billion two years ahead of schedule.


1. Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd upgrades BoC’s National long term rating to AA+ stable outlook, which is the highest rating given to a local commercial bank

2. Became 17th Strongest Bank in Asia Pacific out of 500, as rated by Asian Banker.

3. Introduces online leasing system

4. Opens Premier Banking Centre

5. Doramadalawa – agricultural village that promotes organic farming techniques


1. In a span of almost six years, we have tripled our assets, deposits, loans and shareholder’s equity, and have seen our profits grow seven fold.

2. Hold’s market leadership in assets, deposits, profits, inward remittances, NRFC deposits, trade finance, shareholder’s equity and treasury operations.

3. Rated No. 1 Brand in the country by Brand Finance Lanka for the past four consecutive years

4. Fulfillment of 2009 corporate target One10Twelve. Achieved 1 trillion balance sheet in May, seven months ahead of schedule. Became the first institution and first bank in Sri Lanka to have a trillion rupee balance sheet.

5. First bank in Sri Lanka to successfully raise USD 500 million through a listed senior unsecured bon in May 2012 from the international market. Bond was oversubscribed nearly eight times proving great success.

6. Bank’s rupee debenture issue of Rs. 6 billion was successfully concluded in November

7. Came in Banker’s prestigious top 1000 bank list in the world.

8. Expanded share of assets from 21% in 2007 to 25% in 2012

9. Now has well over 1100 service points including branches, extension offices and ATMS islandwide; 1000th service point opened in Puthukudiyiruppu (Northern Province) in July this year.

10. Have more than 10 SME Centres in the seven provinces

11. Set up Yalpanam Dairy Ltd in Kilinochchi

12. Set up Thurusaviya Loan scheme for rubber smallholders

13. Have financed over Rs 130 billion development projects in Northern and Eastern Provinces after the war.


Vice President - Equity Analytics
Vice President - Equity Analytics

Hidden story, no one knows Mad


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics

bakapandithaya wrote:Hidden story, no one knows Mad
ayin wenna kiyala ati...... Smile ehema netnam metuma ma ida deela ayin wela ati ne Shocked

mehema wechi eka hondai netnam tawa nadagam balanna tibuna...idiriyata Crying or Very sad


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics

Dr wicramasinghe has done very good job.

But New chairman Mr Razeek Zarook know how to tackle people and manage the institution
properly. Balance minded manager
HAD BEEN UNDER MR ZAROOK(From 1978 to1987)

Last edited by D.G.Dayaratne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typing mistake)

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