Historical Review
1939 - 2012

Bank of Ceylon has evolved continuously over the years, undergoing changes in its business operations, branch network, ownership, people, products and services to emerge as the largest financial service provider in Sri Lanka. Such progress is summarized below:

Bank of Ceylon established as the nation's first modern, locally-owned bank.

Ceremonially opens on 1st August by Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, at the present-day premises of the City Office.


Operations commence in Kandy with opening of a branch office. Other branches open subsequently in other large outstation towns: Galle, Jaffna and Trincomalee.


Foreign department established. Operates from offices at the Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH) building, Colombo Fort.


First overseas branch opened in London shortly after Independence; it is the thirteenth bank branch to be opened.


C Loganathan becomes first Sri Lankan General Manager.


Central Office moves from City Office to premises at GOH building.


Authorised capital enhanced to LKR 50 million by Act of Parliament.


Nationalization. The Government of Ceylon becomes sole owner of Bank of Ceylon.

Kachcheri branch network set up in alignment with the Government's District Administration System.


Agriculture Service Centre concept implemented. Operations commence at over 350 Agricultural Service Centre Branches, with the implementation of Comprehensive Rural Credit Scheme.


Non-Residents Foreign Currency (NRFC) deposit scheme introduced.


Off-shore banking operations commence with the establishment of the Foreign Currency Banking Unit.


Computer Division established; automation of business operations commence.


Branch opened in Malé, Republic of Maldives.


Head Office moves to 32-storey BoC Tower in Colombo.


Installation of the first BoC Automated Teller Machine ushers in the electronic banking era.


Ceybank Visa credit card introduced in collaboration with Visa International.


Overseas branch network augmented with offices in Madras and Karachi.


Joint venture with Nepal Bank to establish Nepal Bank of Ceylon Limited.


MOU with Government results in greater management autonomy and target-based performance.


Authorised capital further enhanced to LKR 50 billion by Act of Parliament.


Real estate subsidiary Mireka Capital Land (Private) Limited formed to invest in Havelock City, the largest single condominium development in Sri Lanka.


Balance Sheet footings top LKR 300 billion the largest asset base of any Sri Lankan bank.

Wide range of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities undertaken and financed in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami.


Wins IBM/FISERV prize for the fastest implementation of an online core banking system in Asia Pacific region.


Raised USD 210 million, the largest internationally syndicated debt by any Sri Lankan issuer; appointed Co- Manager of historic USD 500 million debut bond issued by the Government of Sri Lanka.


Raised LKR 4.2 billion via a listed subordinated rupee debenture of 5 years; raised USD 21.6 million via a private placement of a 5-year subordinated dollar debenture.


The first state bank to launch an Islamic Banking Unit, which operates through Island-wide network.


Converted the London branch to a Subsidiary of BoC to be used as a Gateway to EU.

Established a specialized Investment Banking unit

Bank successfully raises LKR 5 billion in the second public issue of unsecured, subordinated redeemable five- year debentures.


Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd upgrades Bank of Ceylon's National long-term rating to "AA+( lka)" stable out-look which is the highest rating given to a local commercial bank in Sri Lanka, presently.

The Bank moves a further step forward with the introduction of an on-line leasing system covering the branch network.

BoC opens Premier Banking Centre for Private Banking.


Became the first bank in Sri Lanka to reach a prodigious milestone by achieving rupees one trillion in Assets.

For the first time in Sri Lankan Commercial banking history 2012 BoC concludes a successful USD 500 million 5 year tenure bond issue, drawing subscriptions totalling USD 3.86 billion, more than seven times the amount sought.

Raised LKR 6 billion in the 4th public issue of unsecured subordinated redeemable five year debentures.

Exceeded 1000 customer service points this year and opened 11 service points in Northern Province in one day

Received global recognition as one of the top 1000 best banks in the world by the world's premier banking and finance magazine "The Banker".