The Sunday Leader

Sampath wins global award

The London Financial Times’ “The Banker” magazine awarded “Bank of the Year 2009” accolade to Sampath Bank, testament to its performance and financial stability.
As a player which entered the market just 22 years ago, the Bank faced many challenges and crossed many milestones during this period. It earned a reputation for initiating many revolutionary changes in the local banking industry in terms of IT.

The concept of Uni-banking, in which all service outlets being connected, facilitating customers to transact with any outlets in the network was a novel experiment in the local banking industry at the time Sampath launched it. Sampath was a fully computerized bank from day one, which began setting trends for others to follow. It was also the first Bank to introduce ATMs and credit cards in the local banking industry.

The rapid but well planned expansion drive was another phenomenon of Sampath. Being recognized as an emerging and dynamic player, Sampath continued to maintain this image by expanding into all potential areas in the country, offering new products and financial solutions and growing at a rapid pace. The Bank now has over 125 branches and 177 ATMs countrywide. The bank is also the single largest shareholder of a leading Bangladeshi financial company.

Sampath’s current vision is to position itself as a National Bank in Sri Lanka, providing “excellent” service islandwide to all economic sectors. Further, the Bank is repositioning itself as the “Bank for Deposits,” offering value added and tailor made deposit products to all market segments.

The Bank has embarked on an ambitious branch expansion programme in the newly liberated Northern and Eastern provinces under which a new branch was opened in Jaffna and 11 in the Eastern province.
The total number of new branches already opened and to be opened this year will be 19, which maybe the largest number of new branches opened by any bank in 2009.
The recent past was not a conducive period for business due to internal and external adverse factors, export markets shrinking with the recession and slowdown in domestic credit demand.

Nevertheless the Bank was able to continuously improve its profitability during this difficult period, recording 34% and 32% profit growths in 2008 and period up to September 2009 respectively. Most of the key financial ratios such as Return on Assets, Return on Equity and Earning per Share continued to improve during this period, enabling Sampath to become a stronger player.

Sampath’s objective is to continue with its growth momentum in terms of business volumes, profitability and become a driving force for new Sri Lanka, which is currently full of hopes after the ending of the 28 year war recently.

“This global affirmation will help Sampath to make a better contribution to the prosperity of our nation in the years to come.”

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