Business News: Union Bank symbolically rang the market opening bell at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to mark its 25th anniversary, as part of a series of events organized by the Bank to celebrate this significant milestone.
CSE market opening ceremonies are organized as a platform for listed companies to celebrate corporate milestones and as a call to action for causes and developments that are significant to the business community, the economy, and society at large.
Outlining the importance of listing the Bank on the CSE, Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank Indrajit Wickramasinghe said that Union Bank’s listing in 2011 has benefitted the Bank in numerous ways.
“Union Bank’s IPO in 2011 established a record response and marked a significant turning point in the 25-year history of the Bank.
Broad basing the public ownership of the Bank with the listing on CSE, resulted in increased visibility and brand image for the Bank to expand its client bases and eventually lead to growth in business operations. We are grateful for our stakeholders, especially our shareholders for the trust and confidence placed on the Bank which has helped propel our growth over the years.
Through the years, the Bank has shared a progressive relationship with the CSE and we are proud of Union Bank’s contributions to the capital market, such as securing long-term local and foreign capital to the country – including the milestone investment by TPG capital. Union Bank has also strengthened its position further when it was included in the S&P SL 20 in 2018, as one of the few listed bank shares.”
He said that Union Bank Group entity National Asset Management Limited (NAMAL) had been in the forefront of developing the equity market of the country by pioneering the first listed Unit Trust and consistently maintaining a successful track record of investing in equity and fixed income markets.
Union Bank chief also mentioned that with over two and half decades of service to the nation, the Bank is geared with the strength and stability to financially empower corporates, SMEs as well as individuals of Sri Lanka with enhanced product and service propositions in the year 2020 and beyond.
Commenting at the event, CSE Chief Executive Officer Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike commended the progress made by the Bank since its inception in 1995 and thanked the leadership of the organization for selecting the CSE bell-ringing platform to celebrate this significant milestone. He also noted the strides made by the Bank within the banking industry continuing to offer investors value over the years and opportunities to be a part of the Bank’s growth.
The Bank marks its 25th anniversary in the year 2020 – a significant milestone that indicates its successful journey of growth over the years, since its inception in 1995.
Throughout the history of this dynamic organization, the Bank has seen many phases of evolution over the years, each of which had brought in challenges, opportunities and growth for the Bank as well as its customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders.
One of the largest global investment companies, TPG’s investment of US$117 million in Union Bank in 2014, acquiring 70% of the Bank’s equity through its affiliate Culture Financial Holdings Ltd. marked a milestone for the Bank and to the banking industry as one the largest foreign direct investments to Sri Lanka.
This marked the beginning of a new phase of accelerated growth for Union Bank. With a solid foundation etched with financial stability and international know-how, today Union Bank is a full-service commercial bank offering a comprehensive range of products and services to financially empower individuals, entrepreneurs, and corporates in Sri Lanka.
Following the capital infusion, the Bank embarked on a transformational journey of growth with substantial investments to its product offering, human capital, technological and delivery platforms with a view of providing a differentiated banking experience to its clientele. The Bank extends its products and services to a diverse client base via an island-wide network of 67 branches, supported by an extensive ATM network and digital banking solutions that facilitate greater convenience to all clients.
As a result of the strategic re-engineering of its operations and the focus on growing its core banking operations, Union Bank had recorded accelerated growth in the recent past recording significant year on year growth in profits especially within the most recent financial years of 2018 and 2019. This is further affirmed by the strong growth recorded in the recently released 2019 financial results, despite a challenging environment.
In its 25th year and beyond Union Bank will further reinforce its retail, corporate, SME and treasury businesses while capitalizing on the clear competitive advantages to generate sustainable growth. The Bank will remain committed to the task of partnering the growth of corporates and SMEs.
The SME sector identified as the growth engine of the economy remains a key priority within the commercial banking agenda of the Bank in the years to come. On the back of a wider reach and a comprehensive product portfolio, the Retail Banking operation of the Bank is set to grow at a faster pace in the coming years with greater focus on digitalised solutions geared to provide enhanced accessibility and convenience to its growing clinetele.
“The future of Union Bank is exciting and we invite our stakeholders to benefit from the multi-dimensional growth of the Bank in the coming years.” stated Mr. Wickramasinghe in his concluding notes at the event.