What it does: The Commercial Bank of Ceylon offers banking and financial services, including investment banking, treasury, loans, international banking, and more.
Best known for: They’re well known for being one of the best private banks in Sri Lanka.
Staff stats: Over 4,700 employees across 266 locations in Sri Lanka.
The good bits: Close-knit, family-feel environment with access to a wide range of bank training programmes and knowledge.
The not so good bits: The environment is highly competitive, making promotions challenging to obtain.
Hiring grads with degrees in: Finance, Accounting, Business, IT & Computer Sciences, Human Resources.
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon (CBC, or ‘ComBank’) was founded in 1920 when a British overseas bank, Eastern Bank, opened a new branch in Ceylon. Thirty-seven years later, another British offshore bank, known as Chartered Bank, acquired the Eastern Bank branch. About four years after the acquisition, the government of Ceylon restricted foreign banks from accepting Ceylonese nationals. To combat this, Eastern Bank changed its branch name to Commercial Bank of Ceylon. Since then, the bank has gone through a few different name changes, investors, and acquisitions.
Today, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon runs 266 branches stretched across Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. They've been consistently rated the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by Global Finance and recognized as Bank of the Year on several different occasions by the magazine, The Banker.
Interested candidates choose from a banking trainee application, an internship application, or can inquire about open positions with the company directly.
The banking trainee and internship processes are based on academics, both requiring minimum achievements for entry (as well as an age limit of 24 for a banking trainee; 21 for internship). Banking trainees need to have passed their General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level), Edexcel, or Cambridge (Ordinary Level) Examinations (with at least six subjects). There’s a particular emphasis on passing mathematics and English for all examinations. Internship qualifications are similar, with the same amount of focus on math and English. There are more qualifications required for the bank trainee position.
After application submission, the interview process is surprisingly straightforward. Questions will mostly revolve around your past work experiences and topics related to the position in which you're applying. Overall, the process takes about two weeks, from the application submission to the post-interview decision.
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon is vague about what opportunities are available within the company, mostly due to their attempts to maintain a close-knit community and a ‘we welcome all candidates’ feel. Career prospects are possible, though there is considerable competition. The competitive environment makes moving up difficult but not impossible. Senior and executive positions are always picked from a pool of the best and most qualified internal employees first before moving to external sources.
Though the exact opportunities are vague, ComBank does offer a bit of clarification with their exceptionally comprehensive training programmes. Programmes include junior executive officer training, credit-analyst training, and more.
Salary ranges at Commercial Bank of Ceylon are competitive, though they offer no precise numbers. As an assistant bank manager at ComBank, you can earn around LKR 174,000 per month, while credit analysts can make about LKR 145,000 per month. If you’re looking to pull in more money, a bank manager position at ComBank makes around LKR 259,000 per month.
Management is generally amicable and recognizes talent and perseverance while also maintaining a sense of competitiveness in the workplace. Those who wish to move up to senior positions have ample opportunities, though the jobs are highly sought after and sometimes hard to obtain.
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon often uses its resources beyond the financial realm, providing funding for numerous environmental and activist groups. Of particular note, ComBank provided the funds necessary to plant 1,000 mangrove trees along the Mannar coast, as well as clean up the entire beach area. In addition to their support of environmental activism, they also donate heavily to educational programmes, especially those that encourage young minds to pursue mathematics, coding, and IT.
ComBank has an interesting, family-like work environment that somehow flows together with competitiveness. The workplace typically comes with both friendly co-workers and friendly management—an unfortunately rare mixture. Reportedly, despite their vague career offerings, opportunities for advancement are available regularly. However, this is where you'll have to compete head-to-head with other highly qualified candidates. You’ll also have access to one of the most extensive and versatile bank training programmes around (their training programmes are perhaps the most integral part of the company’s identity). The general vibe of the place? A competitive yet still friendly environment with access to training, training, and more training.