Financial Times

Confidence in the Central Bank waning - poll

By Natasha Gunaratne

Confidence is slipping in the Central Bank’s ability to handle a full-blown financial crisis, a poll by The Sunday Times FT this week revealed. Asked, “Is the government/Central Bank handling the situation (financial crisis) well?,” the majority of respondents (70%) said ‘No’.

Some 275 people representing CEO, bankers, corporate executives, public officials among others responded to the poll where 92 % said the global financial crisis would affect their company. Asked whether companies would be forced to downsize, cut staff or offer a Voluntary Retirement Scheme, 52% said ‘Yes’. In additional comments, respondents said they believe a balance of payments crisis will emerge by March. “They (CB) are misleading themselves and the nation as a whole,” one respondent said. However a corporate executive noted that one cannot assume the impact is only negative.

“Some companies find that this an attractive enviroment to hire staff as it is much easier to get people at a lower cost,” he said. Another respondent said there is a lack of confidence in the financial sectors as “no one is saying what the impact will be and providing a credible assurance to the general public.” A businessman in his comments said experts in finance, business and banking sectors need to get involved with the government in minimising the economic burden to Sri Lanka. “The worst is yet to come. So we have to be prepared,” he said.

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