Monday, October 2, 2023

Bankers Unite for Inaugural “Bankers on Bicycles” Cycling Event

DFCC Bank, Hatton National Bank, Nations Trust Bank and Sampath Bank PLC recently collaborated for the inaugural “Bankers on Bicycles” Cycling Event. A first for Sri Lanka, “Bankers on Bicycles”, seeks to promote a sustainable lifestyle by incorporating cycling into your life. Expected to be a monthly event, each participating bank intends to take turns hosting the activities.

The inaugural ride kicked off shortly after 6 am on the 26th of August 2022, at DFCC Bank’s Head Office in Colombo 03, with more than 150 participants representing the four participating banks in attendance. Participants included the CEOs and senior management of the four banks, along with a diverse range of cyclists representing all levels of staff, as the event was open to all staff members. This time, “Bankers on Bicycles” undertook a city circuit that took the cyclists to Dehiwala and back.

Commenting on the initiative, Aasiri Iddamalgoda, Senior Vice President Retail banking and SME at DFCC Bank said, “We introduced cycling to work as a lifestyle choice in 2020 during our 65th anniversary celebrations. Since then, we have regularly hosted cycling days for our staff and customers and made cycling infrastructure available for our customers, particularly at our Pinnacle Centre at Horton Place. Therefore, expanding this initiative within the banking industry is the natural growth we hoped for. This initiative was adopted not only in Colombo but by our branches across the island, especially in Kandy and Kurunagala. Inspired by our sustainability strategy and framework, we want to promote sustainable and healthy lifestyles, and cycling can be a big part of that. We are pleased to have been able to partner with like-minded industry stakeholders in expanding this initiative, creating not just an opportunity to promote a better lifestyle but also to promote collaboration and fellowship within the banking industry.”

Commenting on the initiative, Chiranthi Cooray, Deputy General Manager, Chief Human Resource Officer and Chief Transformation Officer at HNB, said, “Team HNB cyclists joined ‘Bankers on Bicycles’ in numbers for the friendly ride organized by DFCC, Nations Trust, Sampath and HNB on the 26th of August. We are very excited to continue cycling events and bring the industry together to promote a sustainable lifestyle, health and fitness among our staff and unite for common causes in friendship and camaraderie.”

“It was an exhilarating experience,” added Lalith Weragoda, Chief Human Resource Officer at Sampath Bank, “Cycling is one of those activities that can be enjoyed alone but can also be taken to another level with a group, and what a wonderful group we have put together. This initiative has the potential to pay tremendous environmental benefits, and we are pleased to be a partner in this programme. I hope that this initiative will help inspire the whole banking space and that we will soon have many more banks participating. The more people who ride bicycles to work, the fewer vehicles there will be on the road, thereby reducing congestion and traffic, which means safer roads. It’s a great experience to cycle together with other bankers.”

Explaining the significance of the event, Chamila Sumathiratne, Chief Risk Officer at Nations Trust Bank, said, “As an organization that places high value on the well-being of all our stakeholders, Nations Trust Bank is proud to partner up with our peer banks for this timely initiative that promotes cycling as a healthier commute. Our everyday actions impact the environment, and we would like to invite everyone to join this worthy cause to collectively reduce our carbon footprint and contribute towards a better planet, which will, in turn, improve our overall quality of life.”

HNB, Sampath Bank, Nations Trust Bank and DFCC Bank have invested significantly in cycling facilities for employees and customers. The participating banks have also pledged these facilities for “Bankers on Bicycles” cycling events. The facilities include showers, bicycle parking, service areas, payment schemes for purchasing bicycles and much more. Working together, this consortium of banks, with a focus on sustainability, promotes healthier living and inter-bank cooperation and is a shining example of how people can work together to overcome challenges. In the future, the participating banks of “Bankers on Bicycles” hope that even more banks will join this initiative, which ultimately envisions island-wide cooperation and the promotion of healthy lifestyles within Sri Lanka’s banking space.

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