Customer service, innovation key to bank’s success : Sampath MD

4 November 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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   Aravinda Perera


Sampath Bank continues to add to their list of global and local accolades, most recently being recognised as the Best Commercial and Retail Bank in Sri Lanka by the World Finance Magazine for the second consecutive year, as well as being ranked number seven amongst the Top 10 Most Respected Entities in Sri Lanka by the LMD magazine’s 11th edition of Most Respected Entities.

Commenting on the significance of these awards, Managing Director of Sampath Bank, Aravinda Perera said, “Sampath Bank is not new to winning awards. During the last few years we won Euro Money three years running and The Banker twice, and this is the second consecutive time we have been named the Best Commercial and Retail Bank by World Finance Magazine.  We are happy our efforts have been appreciated by internationally reputed financial experts.”
The World Finance Magazine is a critically acclaimed bi-monthly magazine providing in-depth coverage and analysis of the financial industry. Renowned for its insightful, current and credible reporting, the magazine’s intensely valued rankings regularly evaluate global companies against their peers.

“LMD is one of the oldest and most recognised local financial magazines that has consistently maintained very high standards.  Millions of people read these magazines and we are very honoured to have not only been given these awards by them but raised our profile locally and globally through them,” Perera added.


Core values of service and innovation
According to the Managing Director, Sampath Bank’s core values of service and innovation are at the centre of such significant success. From inception, the Bank has focused on the customer and ensuring that their needs are not only met, but exceeded, by creating innovative and personalised business solutions. 
Perera says, “By creating this culture of care and excellence we have managed to impact the market significantly and stay ahead of our competition. We are comparatively a young bank but because of our commitment to our customers we have managed to be recognised within and outside of Sri Lanka. 

This is a very credible achievement. Financial services and banking is at the forefront of the next wave of global change and Sampath Bank is well positioned to deliver these innovations to our own people. We are committed to growing and following international best practices that will give the best returns to our clients.”    

In evaluating how Sampath Bank’s commitment to innovation contributed to being recognised as the best commercial, as well as best retail bank, Perera states that one of the bank’s key strengths is in imports, which is at the heart of being a commercial bank. 

“In business transactions, speed of turnaround time in providing solutions is essential. For that two things are needed; technological products that can meet the any requirements and, technical superiority of our credit officers and international treasury in creating solutions. On that front we have done well,” Perera reflected. 

Retail banking consists of current accounts, savings accounts, loans and overdraft requirements, and as such, the speed of service delivery is a crucial consideration. In this sector especially, payment methods using cash and cheque are gradually becoming out-dated, and internet and mobile banking products are seeing an exponential growth. 

“ATMs are no longer new but it is still important to track what percentage of payments are ATM driven and how much of products can be mobile driven. In the future these are the aspects that will really be drivers. We had started introducing these products well before other banks and I can confidently say that we have solutions that have been accepted by the public,” affirms Perera.  


Focus on sustainability reporting
Among Sampath Bank’s many previous award recognitions, a special focus has been on sustainability reporting which has differentiated the bank’s initiatives in giving back to its community.    

Commenting on Sampath Bank’s long-term commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibility, the Managing Director says, “As a bank, we are fully aware of our responsibility to our community, and have a strong background in integrating into and contributing to society. Sampath Bank started our CSR in 1987 with our first ATM card, when a small amount of money from each card would be contributed to our community efforts. We have continued to build on this foundation, and have focused on aspects such as entrepreneur development, education, and the overall wellbeing of our entire society. For example, Sampath Bank has gotten involved in assisting kidney disease patients, and a couple of years ago, we donated a Rs. 50 million neuro-navigator to the General Hospital. Such efforts will only continue.” 

Having climbed up the LMD rankings, Sampath Bank has established itself at number seven as a company that is both business savvy and patriotic. Among the many categories evaluated by the LMD magazine when compiling the list of Most Respected Entities, Sampath Bank is placed number one in the segment of “nation mindedness”, and is also ranked highly in interlinked categories such as “honesty”.

Perera affirms that the bank will continue to improve on this achievement.


Clear commitment
“We at Sampath Bank have a very clear commitment to supporting and driving Sri Lanka’s economic and social growth, and are dedicated to giving our best to all 20 million Sri Lankans. 

We focus on immersing ourselves in their development for we cannot move forward as a nation otherwise. Such accolades as we have received are given to us by the public as an acknowledgement of the sincerity that we have displayed in our corporate culture for 35 years. We have always put Sri Lanka first, working hard to take our nation forward, and we will continue to serve and grow with our beloved country.” 

Being at the helm of a bank that is a trailblazer in Sri Lanka’s financial sector, Perera maintains that Sampath Bank’s future goals are concentrated on being an intrinsic part of Sri Lanka’s development and its economic growth by adapting to new technology, and utilising it to provide more complete financial solutions to its customers.  

“Global finance is evolving in incredibly fast and complex ways. Sri Lanka’s banking sector has the great responsibility of keeping the country connected to the global market place and linking our economy with the rest of the world. To do this we must continue to keep pace with the dynamic changes taking place around us, and use our expertise and knowledge to take Sri Lanka forward. We must respond to the fast changing marketplace and continue to upgrade our services and products to meet new challenges,” he concluded.   
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