Life promotes Retirement Planning in new initiative
Life Insurance Leader Ceylinco
Life has adopted a new cause -- retirement planning -- in a
month-long activity-filled campaign similar to its successful
Life Insurance Week initiative in February. Here, the company’s
Chief Executive Director R. Renganathan elaborates on this new
Ceylinco Life recently announced plans to conduct a Retirement
Planning Month in Sri Lanka. What prompted this decision?
A: It is a well-known fact that Sri Lanka’s population is
ageing. What is meant by this is that the percentage of older
people in the population is increasing. This is the result of
better healthcare and improved living conditions as well as the
success of birth control programmes. The overall rate of growth
of the population has slowed, so naturally, older people begin
to make up a larger segment of the population. This is a natural
phenomenon, but one that Sri Lanka is not well geared to face.
The vast majority of people are employed in the private sector
and the informal sector, where there is virtually no safety net
for them after retirement. Sri Lanka does not have a
comprehensive state-run programme to care for elders either.
This makes it imperative that people should start saving for
their retirement while they are gainfully employed. The
Retirement Planning Month is intended to create awareness about
this aspect and to promote retirement planning in the target
Q: Why is a life insurance company promoting retirement
A: Life insurance and retirement planning are closely
linked, and most life insurance companies develop investment
products that provide for retirement. In both life insurance and
retirement planning, the principal concept is making provision
for the future of oneself and one’s family. In life insurance, a
policyholder seeks to ensure that his or her family would be
provided for in the event of an untimely death or disability.
When the policy matures, the policyholder receives a lump sum
which comes in usually close to his or her retirement age.
Similarly, a retirement plan is one that enables a person to
start saving, with the assistance of a professional financial
services company, for a future when he or she will cease to
earn, or have a diminished earning capacity.
Q: Why have you selected the mechanism of a Retirement
Planning Month to promote retirement planning?
A: The idea came from the success of our Life Insurance Week
which was conducted in February this year. Life insurance has
been in Sri Lanka for several decades and is a very competitive
area of business. Despite this, the penetration of life
insurance is still under 10 per cent. In the past and even now,
each insurance company promotes its own products, using their
respective features, and the stability and strength of their
companies to persuade potential customers to buy life insurance.
There is nothing wrong with this approach, but one result of it
is that life insurance remains a seller’s market. There is
inadequate understanding about the need for life insurance.
Buying decisions are made based on product features. This makes
insurance just another product, which it is not. It is an
essential safety net against an uncertain future, and if this is
understood, we believe that penetration will increase and the
category will grow.
When we evaluated the results of the activities conducted during
the Life Insurance Week, we were pleased to see that our
decision to go back to fundamentals and promote life insurance
in its generic form had yielded very impressive results.
Therefore, it was decided to apply the learning of this
initiative to promote retirement planning in a similar way.
Q: Do you think the potential for retirement planning is as
high as the potential for life insurance?
A: I don’t see why not. In life insurance, the policyholder
has to contemplate the possibility of an unforeseen eventuality
in which he or she will not be able to provide for family and
loved ones. Thankfully, this is the exception and not the rule.
But we all know that we cannot stop ageing and that one day,
each of us has to retire. The need to plan for this stage of our
lives is obvious.
The size of the target segment is also very large. Do you know
that by 2031, just 23 years from now, 22 per cent of this
country’s population would be over 60 years old? We don’t even
need to go that far. By 2021, that is in another 13 years, there
will be more than four million people aged over 60 in Sri Lanka.
Clearly, it is time that people who will be in this segment
start planning their retirement now, before it is too late. So,
the need for retirement planning is very real and urgent, and
the target audience is very large.
Q: What does the Retirement Planning Month comprise of?
A: The activities planned for the moth will take place from
May 1st to 31st. We have already started the mass media
campaigns focusing on the need for retirement planning,
targeting our existing policyholders as well as all working
people in general. During the month, nearly 4000 Ceylinco Life
personnel will be deployed island-wide to discuss retirement
planning with people of all walks of life. We have developed a
new module to conduct need analyses for retirement planning and
we have set ourselves the target of completing 400,000 need
analyses during the month. We will also distribute leaflets that
will help people understand retirement planning and the need for
it, conduct street promotions and give every person who obtains
a retirement plan in this period an attractive gift. This
programme will be supported by outdoor banners, pennants and
interactions at branch level, across the island.
New General Manager at
M. Wickramasinghe took
over his duties as the Chief Executive Officer/General Manager
of People’s Bank at a ceremony held recently at the People’s
Bank Headquarters. W. Karunajeewa, Chairman of People’s Bank
welcomed the new CEO. Multi-religious ceremonies were conducted
on the occasion, with the Corporate Management and staff taking
part in them, welcoming the newly-appointed CEO.
Wickramasinghe, who counts 35 years of experience at People’s
Bank, was awarded a Gold Medal in 1968, as the Best Student
during his school career at Nalanda Vidyalaya, Colombo. He holds
a B.A. (Hons.) degree as well as a B.Phil. degree, from the
University of Colombo. He is also a holder of a Merit Pass at
the Management Development Programme conducted by the University
of Sri Jayawardenapura.
Rising from the ranks at the Bank, from Branch Manager and
Senior Manager at the International Division to the post of
Senior DGM – Branch Operations, Wickramasinghe has wide ranging
experiences in the fields of inspection, organisation and
methods, finance, planning and treasury, and development
finance. Furthermore, he initiated the establishment of the
Overseas Customer Services (OCS) Unit of People’s Bank, which
was also the first division of the Bank to be fully computerised.
Wickramasinghe is an Alternate Director of the Governing Board
of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, and a Director of the
Board of Lanka Clear (Pvt) Ltd.
New director at HNB Assurance
HNB Assurance PLC has appointed Prathapkumar de Silva, Senior
Chairman of the Alliance Group of Companies, as a Director of
the Company, with effect from March 31st , 2008. He would
function as an independent non-executive director.
De Silva is Chairman and Joint Managing Director of Alliance
Finance PLC, in addition to serving as Chairman of Arpico
Finance PLC, Alliance Tech Trading (Pvt) Ltd and several other
companies. He is also a Director of a number of companies,
including Virtusa (Pvt) Ltd, Software Solutions (Pvt) Ltd,
Macbertan (Pvt) Ltd and Orient Hotels Ltd. De Silva represents
the Finance Companies on the Board of the Credit Information
Bureau of Sri Lanka. He is also the President of the Sri Lanka
Institute of Credit Management, an Executive Director of the
Finance Houses Consortium (Pvt) Ltd. and Advisory Councillor to
the Committee of the Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka.
Prathapkumar de Silva who currently serves as the Honorary
Consul of the Republic of Peru in Sri Lanka, has also been a
renowned motor racing driver, with many achievements to his
credit, in that field.
Chartered Bank partners Trans Asia to offer best deals
Standard Chartered Bank Sri Lanka has partnered with Trans Asia
Colombo for an exclusive sponsorship of the ‘Citron Bar’ and a
host of other rewards and privileges that will benefit their
Credit Card customers.
Amongst many other benefits, Standard Chartered Cardholders will
enjoy a 15% discount on their total beverage bill at the ‘Citron
Bar’ at the Trans Asia up to January 31, 2009. The ‘Citron Bar’
is the only outdoor Vodka Bar in Sri Lanka. This is yet another
key partnership made by Standard Chartered Bank in its
commitment to offer its exclusive customers the most exclusive
Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar, Head of Consumer Banking, Standard
Chartered Bank, Sheahan Arasaratnam, Head of Credit Cards,
Standard Chartered Bank, Neroy Marso, General Manager Trans Asia
were joined by Augustus de Hoedt, the Hotel’s Director Catering
as they endorsed the partnership.
Trans Asia is also one of the partners of the Standard Chartered
Bonus Points programme. Cardholders can opt to redeem the Bonus
Points earned through their Standard Chartered Credit Card at
the Royal Thai Restaurant, Saffron Restaurant, Long Feng
Restaurant and Summerfields Restaurant at Trans Asia.
“We have joined together with Trans Asia for various promotions,
all of which will make spending with a Standard Chartered Credit
Card a more rewarding experience to Cardholders” commented
Sheahan Arasaratnam, Head of Credit Cards for Standard Chartered
“It is indeed a privilege to partner with Standard Chartered
Bank, and trust this benefit will definitely be enjoyed to the
fullest by the Cardholders commented Marso.
Standard Chartered Bank also offers it’s Credit Cardholders True
Value Bonus Points, which give customers the privilege of
earning one full rupee for every Rs100 spent on purchases both
locally and overseas. Accumulated Bonus Points can be redeemed
at a range of participating outlets including ODEL, Hameedias,
Mondi, Arpico, The Mango Tree, Angsana City Club and Spa,
Sanctuary Spa, Vijitha Yapa Book Shop to name a few. Other key
value added services offered to Standard Chartered Credit
Cardholders include the 0% Instant Installment Plans, Phone
Banking services; enabling customers to pay their utility bills
such as water, electricity and mobile phone bills free of
charge, a range of insurance benefits and much more. In order to
provide true value to its Cardholders, Standard Chartered Bank
has also partnered several establishments for discounts up to
25%. These year-round savings are valid up to December 31, 2008
and range from a holiday in the cultural triangle to sunny
beaches, fine dining to high fashion, and home furnishing to
health spas, and fun times for kids to entertainment for the
Standard Chartered is also the 1st Bank to launch the ‘Smart
Spender’ programme through which a Cardholder could opt to
settle any transaction locally or overseas which is above
Rs10,000 in 3,6,9,12,18 or 24 months at just 2% per month. The
‘Smart Spender Programme’ is valid up to May 31, 2008
Standard Chartered Credit Cardholders also enjoy the best
overseas travel deals in town from a range of destinations that
include Chennai, Bangalore, Maldives, Bangkok and Pattaya,
Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai and special travel packages to
Egypt, Europe, America and a special Buddhist pilgrimage to
India and Nepal. Cardholders are also offered the privilege of
opting to settle their credit card payment on account of any of
the travel packages via a 0% interest installment plan in 3, 6,
9 or 12 equal monthly installments. These special travel deals
are offered up to May 31, 2008.
HSBC Credit Cardholders
hit the jackpot at Singer outlets
credit cardholders have more reason to celebrate at any Singer
Mega or selected Singer Plus outlets till May 31, 2008.
Customers will have the opportunity to strike their wheel of
fortune at the Singer Jackpot and win up to Rs. 2 million worth
of prizes by using their HSBC credit card to purchase electronic
goods and household appliances.
During the promotional period, credit cardholders with purchases
of Rs. 2,000 or more, at any of the Singer Mega or selected
Singer Plus outlets, will be eligible to enter a lucky draw to
win 418 amazing prizes. The lucky winners will be gifted with
DVD players, TV’s, refrigerators, fans, irons, air conditioners,
computers and much more.
The promotion requires customers to simply spend Rs. 2,000 and
increase their chances of winning by spending multiples of it.
Customers will receive a single coupon for purchases of Rs.
2,000, and an additional coupon for every other purchase of Rs.
2,000. Customers purchasing on 0% installments with a first
installment of Rs. 2,000 or more will also be entitled to enter
the lucky draw.
Head of Credit Cards and Consumer Assets, HSBC, Nilantha
Bastian, whilst inviting customers to make the most of this
offer said, “Singer is a trusted household name in the consumer
durables market today, with an extensive range of household
appliances and electronic goods that are of high quality and
international repute. The Singer Jackpot is a unique promotion
that allows customers, who particularly shop for new items
during this time of the year, to swipe their credit card and win
extra at Singer, creating excitement for all shoppers”.
HSBC is the undisputed leader in credit cards in Sri Lanka. The
HSBC credit card opens up a world of opportunities, making life
more convenient for its customers. Along with powerful global
and local privileges, the HSBC credit cardholder has access to a
remarkable range of services and benefits, whether at home or
ICICI Bank profits exceed US$ 1 billion
ICICI Bank’s profit after tax, for the year
ending March 31, 2008, has crossed US$ 1 billion. According to
the Bank’s audited accounts, profit after tax for, the quarter
ended March 31, 2008, has increased 39% to Rs. 1,150 crore (US$
287 million) from Rs. 825 crore (US$ 206 million) for the
quarter ended March 31, 2007.
Profit after tax for FY2008 increased 34% to Rs. 4,158 crore
(US$ 1 billion, from Rs. 3,110 crore (US$ 775 million) for the
year ended March 31, 2007. The Net interest income has increased
30% to Rs. 7,304 crore (US$ 1.8 billion) for FY2008 from Rs.
5,637 crore (US$ 1.4 billion) for FY2007. Fee income has
increased 32% to Rs. 6,627 crore (US$ 1.7 billion) for FY2008
from Rs. 5,012 crore (US$ 1.2 billion) for FY2007.
Current and Savings Account (CASA) deposits ratio has increased
to 26% at March 31, 2008 from 22% at March 31, 2007. At March
31, 2008, ICICI Bank and its subsidiaries had consolidated total
assets of Rs. 485,830 crore (US$ 121.1 billion).
The Board has recommended a dividend of 110% for FY2008 i.e. Rs.
11 per equity share (equivalent to US$ 0.55 per ADS) as compared
to 100% for FY2007. The declaration and payment of dividend is
subject to requisite approvals. CASA deposits have increased 27%
to Rs. 63,781 crore (US$ 15.9 billion) at March 31, 2008 from Rs.
50,214 crore (US$ 12.5 billion) at March 31, 2007 and
constituted 26% of total deposits at March 31, 2008, compared to
22% at March 31, 2007.
The Bank is significantly expanding its branch network to expand
its reach and further enhance its deposit franchise. At April
23, 2008, the Bank had 1,308 branches and extension counters as
compared to 755 branches and extension counters at March 31,
2007. This increase of 553 branches and extension counters
includes about 190 branches on account of the merger with Sangli
Bank. The Bank had 3,950 ATMs at April 23, 2008.
Consolidated advances of the Bank and its overseas banking
subsidiaries and ICICI Home Finance Company increased 19% to Rs.
252,071 crore (US$ 62.8 billion) at March 31, 2008 from Rs.
211,660 crore (US$ 52.8 billion) at March 31, 2007. This
reflects robust growth in the loan book of the Bank’s
international branches, its international subsidiaries and ICICI
Home Finance Company. ICICI Bank’s international business is
focused on building a Retail Deposit base, which gives the Bank
access to low cost deposits on sustainable basis. Aggregate
Retail Deposits of ICICI Bank UK and Canada increased 90% from
Rs. 15,740 crore (US$ 3.9 billion) at March 31, 2007 to Rs.
29,861 crore (US$ 7.4 billion) at March 31, 2008.
and JCISL to sponser Outstanding Youth Persons Awards 2008-2010
partnership between HSBC and the Junior Chamber International
Sri Lanka (JCISL) to sponsor the TOYP awards was renewed for a
further period of three years on April 30, 2008 at the bank
premises in Fort.
This partnership aims to recognise and reward the youth of Sri
Lanka, at the Annual Outstanding Young Persons Awards (TOYP)
scheduled to be held in September 2008.
The new agreement was signed by Chief Executive Officer, Nick A
Nicoloau on behalf of HSBC while National President, JCI Sen.
Niroshan Silva signed on behalf of JCISL.