Speaking at a special press conference in view of their 82nd anniversary he said that while other banks may be reluctant to do so the BOC will open LCs not only for their customers but for other clients as well. He also said that the BOC also paid large amounts of US dollars for the importation of COVID-19 related vaccines and even facilitated the importation of oil, food items and recently for LP gas.
The Chairman said that he was very optimistic about the future and said that he believes that the C-19 pandemic too would subside and affected sectors like tourism will bounce back even stronger and economic recovery too will commence.
“We also want new entrepreneurs to emerge specially from rural areas and to assist towards this crusade we have visited people in remote areas and have presented them with plans and assistance to reach the next level in their business. “We want to see new exporters exporting from their own green fields. It’s also to assist these Micro, SME and start ups enterprises to reach the next level that we launched the ‘Export Circle.’
He said that they also foresee a huge increase of inward remittances and in a bid to further strengthen this sector we will be appointing new agents in Europe and South American destinations and are also looking at strengthening the existing BOC global banking branch network and opening new one. “We have completed the feasibility study in this and will open more overseas branches as and when the pandemic settles down.”
DGM International, Treasury and Investments R.M.N. Jeewantha said that they see a huge increase in their remittances and have already received USD 2.8 billion for the first six months via exchange houses. We hope to improve last year’s figure by over 25% this year.”
He also attributed this to the drying up of informal money channelling options due to the C-19 people to people movement.
“We have also strengthened our technological capabilities and today a remittance transaction will be transmitted to the Sri Lankan receiver in 5 seconds.
He also said that they further strengthen their overseas remittances channels in Japan, Canada, Jordan and Cyprus through new partnerships.
Deputy General Manager Sales and Channel Management Priyal Silva said that the bank has invested heavily on technology and digital transformation and on ATMS as well to take the bank even closer to the people especially in unbanked areas.
“We currently have 646 branches, 771 ATM’s, 164 CDM, and 443 CRM’s. In addition we have 2060 Touch points.
In a timely CSR, the bank collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) in their efforts in facing the challenges of the pandemic embarked on a centralized communication hub assisting the affected home-based patients connecting them digitally with medical officials to provide immediate information and advisory facility.