Ceylinco Seylan Gold Heart, a golden account

Seylan Bank the ‘Bank with a Heart’ known for its innovative financial solutions has once again come up with a unique Gold Investment and Trading Account aptly named ‘Ceylinco Seylan Gold Heart.’

As per its founder Chairman/Managing Director Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala’s vision, Seylan Bank has developed a unique investment product which would add value to its clientele.

This account can be set up by any Sri Lankan over 18 years of age, by opening a Gold Cash Account and a Gold Account in any Seylan Bank Branch.

Thereafter, he/she may invest and trade in Gold. There is no compulsion to retain physical gold. The quantum of gold purchased by an individual less the quantum sold, would reflect as the balance in the account.

Seylan Bank would quote the buying and selling rate on a daily basis and also be the counterparty to buy back the gold in the Gold Account sold by any individual maintaining such accounts.

Apart from Seylan Bank, The Finance PLC, Seylan Merchant Bank PLC, Ceylinco Investment and Realty., Ceylinco Finance PLC, Finance and Guarantee Company Pvt. Ltd., Ceylinco Savings Bank, Ceylinco Leasing Company and Multi Finance Ltd. would act as Agents for the public to buy and sell gold.

The minimum transaction amount for Gold investment and trading would be 5 grams and in multiples of 0.10 grams thereafter, based on the funds available in the Gold Cash Account.

The 5,10,20 and 50 gram Bars are of 99.99 fine pure 24 Karat gold and Ten Tola bars are of 99.90 fine pure 24 Karat gold.
Customers may even withdraw physical gold from this account with prior notice, given three days ahead, for a very nominal fee which would depend on the type and number of Gold Bars withdrawn.

If an individual is inclined to purchase physical gold, gold bars are available in denominations of 5 grams, 10 grams, 20 grams and 50 grams, Ten Tola Bars of 3.746 ounces (116.6 grams) and in multiples of each denomination from the gold outlet situated at Seylan Bank’s First City Office, Colombo 1.

Customers may also sell the gold in their account back to the bank at the bank’s prevailing buying price and enjoy capital gains, depending on the market conditions.

Historically, gold has been used by communities as a traditional store of value and over the centuries the metal’s value had kept increasing steadily despite new sources and modern mining methods having increased the supply considerably.

For parents who plan for their children’s weddings in the future, the balance available in the Gold Account would be a great boon. The advantage is that the account holder does not have to worry about security in holding gold. This makes safety lockers and safes obsolete, for this purpose.

As such, as physical gold is not in one’s possession, the need for insurance cover also does not arise. Whilst one makes a good long term investment for one’s future, or accumulates capital gain due to fluctuating gold prices, it is the peace of mind in knowing that even physical gold, if needed, may be easily withdrawn, that is comforting to a gold account holder.

Wealth Managers also, who wish to have a portfolio of investments, would have an opportunity of investing in another investment instrument on behalf of their clients. In this period of high inflation and increasing costs all around, the Gold Trading Account may give an opportunity for a real rate of return, to the investors’ advantage.


ICICI Bank wins award for excellence in remittance business

ICICI Bank has won an award from The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services programme for the bank’s outstanding performance in its remittance business in 2007. The bank received the award at The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services 2007 Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the region’s most prestigious retail banking event, the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Convention. The ceremony was held at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel in Bangkok on the evening of May 16, 2008.

About 150 senior bankers from award-winning banks in 23 countries across the Asia Pacific, the Gulf region and Central Asia, attended the glittering event, a first class celebration of the region’s best retail bankers that recognises their efforts in bringing superior products and services to their customers.

The awards programme, administered by The Asian Banker and refereed by prominent bankers, consultants and academics from around the world, is the most prestigious award of its kind. The scorecard used to determine the winners and the position of the different retails banks in the region is attached.

ICICI Bank has won the ‘Excellence in Remittance Business 2007’ award in The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services programme. The new product category was introduced to the Awards programme in 2006, to recognise the bank with the strongest proposition and most notable achievements in its remittance business across the Asia Pacific region.

ICICI Bank’s stronghold on the market and the exemplary growth it had enjoyed despite the onset of sharp business and market challenges from domestic competitors, licensed and unlicensed non-bank remitting houses and regulatory restrictions on foreign market expansion is a significant achievement. It has maintained exemplary growth and seen substantial increase in remittance customers domestically and internationally.

In this year’s programme, ICICI Bank was ranked against three other banks with strong remittance programmes, and each a dominant player in its respective market based on market share and growth rates. The bank has claimed over a quarter of local market share in 2007, and has shown substantial remittance customer increases domestically and internationally, with attention to both affluent and non-affluent demographics.

Leveraging customer willingness to pay for convenience and speed reliance on currency conversion revenue, ICICI Bank has introduced a slew of timely fee-based premium products and services in 2007. The bank’s instant online remittance fee product has become the single largest channel in its key UK and Canadian markets and has exceeded contributions from its biggest branches three months after the launch. Significantly, ICICI Bank has also opened a new instant call-in remittance service, expanding fee and cross-selling opportunities.


Ceylinco Life achieves industry-first with ‘palm-top’ insurance

Life insurance leader Ceylinco Life this week became the first insurance company in Sri Lanka to deploy leading edge information and communications technology in field sales and customer servicing, with the launch of ‘e-assist’ a PDA-based mobile insurance sales office that will revolutionise the way insurance sales people work.

The company will equip its sales team with sophisticated GPRS-powered Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs with software developed by NCS of Singapore, a leading vendor-independent IT and communications engineering solutions provider in the Asia Pacific region.

Armed with these mobile phone-sized devices and miniature portable printers that clip on to their trouser belts, Ceylinco Life’s sales consultants will now carry their offices in their hands and into the homes of their policy holders and prospective clients, offering a new dimension in speed, accuracy and convenience.

This new concept of ‘palm-top insurance’ will enable them to feed in information on a prospective customer’s earnings, expenses and other indicators to produce a computer-aided Needs Analysis, produce a quotation within minutes, modify it if necessary in consultation with the customer, accept the first premium and issue a printed receipt, all in a single visit, the company said.

The PDAs also contain up-to-date information on all existing policy holders, including their premium due dates, information on proposals or claims pending, as well as any complaints that may have been lodged, enabling Ceylinco Life sales consultants to service customers with minimal delays, and with all the information at hand.

The first PDA-generated quotation and receipt were formally presented to Ceylinco Consolidated Chairman Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala this week, following a presentation on the concept and benefits of ‘e-assist.’

“The deployment of PDAs in the field is a first for insurance in Sri Lanka, and the content and functionality that we have built in, is possibly a first for Asia,” said R. Renganathan, Chief Executive Director of Ceylinco Life. “This is yet another demonstration of leadership and an initiative that will enhance the level of professionalism in life insurance sales and raise the bar for others in the field.”

Besides assisting sales consultants with pre sales support and customer servicing, the PDAs also aid self-organising, with a complete product library, diary management feature and access to MIS reports on lapsed policies, renewals and advance payments due, and maturity dates coming up, enabling them to plan their customer visits better. The PDAs also contain updates on on-going sales competitions and productivity matrices that allow sales consultants to track their own performance and productivity.

“The impact in terms of motivation and efficiency could be tremendous,” Renganathan added. “The deployment of PDAs will benefit policy holders, prospective customers, the sales consultants and the company.”

The largest and most successful life insurer in Sri Lanka, Ceylinco Life retained its position as the market leader in the local life insurance sector in 2007, with premium income growth of more than 19 per cent to Rs. 6.8 Billion. The company’s Life Fund stood at Rs 16.8 Billion as at December 31, 2007.


Seylan Bank expands its pawning operations

Seylan Bank First City Office Branch recently commenced pawning. Picture shows Director, General Manager, Chief Executive, Seylan Bank, Ajita Pasqual, cutting the ribbon in the presence of Director, Senior Deputy General Manager, Region I, Leonie Seneviratne

Seylan Bank Boralesgamuwa branch recently commenced pawning. Picture shows Suresh Amarasekara, Assistant General Manager Region V, cutting the ribbon in the presence of Vidyani Ratnayake, Manager – Boralesgamuwa branch