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ComBank named Best SME Bank in Sri Lanka at Global Finance Awards 2024 in UK

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been declared the ‘Best SME Bank’ in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2024 in an emphatic reaffirmation of the Bank’s status as the biggest benefactor by far to the country’s small and medium enterprises.

Already recognised by the Ministry of Finance as the biggest lender to the country’s SMEs, Commercial Bank received the prestigious Global Finance award in this sphere for the second consecutive year.

Announcing the winners of the World’s Best SME Bank Awards 2024 across all regions, Global Finance said it used a proprietary algorithm with criteria – such as knowledge of SME markets and needs, breadth of products and services, market standing, and innovation – weighted for relative importance. “The winners are those banks that best meet the specialised needs of SMEs in their markets,” the magazine said.

Recognised alongside Commercial Bank as the Best SME Banks in their countries in the Asia-Pacific region are banks of the calibre of OCBC – Singapore, Maybank – Malaysia, Sumimoto Mitsui Financial Group – Japan, HDFC Bank – India, Prime Bank – Bangladesh and Vietcombank – Vietnam.

Commenting on this latest award, Commercial Bank Deputy General Manager Personal Banking Mr Delakshan Hettiarachchi said: “SMEs have always been a top priority for us, and this is borne out by the fact that Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector. We continuously engage with our SME customers on many levels, helping to build knowledge and capacity and facilitating networking and access to local and international markets. The Global Finance award is therefore a fitting affirmation of the success of our efforts.”

Among the most recent non-financial initiatives of Commercial Bank to support SMEs were the launch of ‘Commercial Bank LEAP GlobalLinker’ and ‘ComBank Trade Club’ both of which are intended to help businesses penetrate global markets. Commercial Bank LEAP GlobalLinker is a digital ecosystem powered by GlobalLinker, an international business enabling platform. The platform enables SMEs to create online stores to promote their products and services and expand their network of customers, investors, and suppliers from across the world. ComBank Trade Club is a forum that provides networking opportunities for businesses to exchange ideas and knowledge about opportunities arising in local and international markets, identify and source the technical know-how needed to penetrate new markets, and find ways overcome obstacles to expanding capacity or development of new products.

Additionally, Commercial Bank has an exclusive club for SME customers. The first of its kind in the country, the Commercial Bank Biz Club brings SME customers together in order to create new business opportunities, and to provide them support beyond lending, by way of education, networking, and expert advice from relevant authorities. More than 5,000 SMEs are now members of the Commercial Bank Biz Club.

Other programmes in place to assist the local SME segment include Commercial Bank’s “Dirishakthi” Micro Entrepreneurs loan scheme and Value Chain Development Programme to strengthen rural value chains, and facilities such as ‘Biz Loans’ and ‘Agri Gold Loans’ schemes, capacity building programmes, and targeted initiatives to support to women entrepreneurs in the country.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York, Global Finance has a circulation of 50,000 and readers in 193 countries and territories. Global Finance’s audience includes senior corporate and financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions.

Commercial Bank is the largest private sector bank in Sri Lanka and the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World. The Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector, and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. Commercial Bank has the widest international footprint among Sri Lankan Banks, with 20 outlets in Bangladesh, a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, and a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake in the Maldives.

Photo caption:

Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager – Personal Banking Mr Delakshan Hettiarachchi accepts the award on behalf of the Bank.