ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 9, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 15
Financial Times  

Sri Lanka Savings Bank – when is it really opening?

I am writing on behalf of a poor relative of mine who had an account with the now defunct Pramuka Savings & Development Bank Limited (PSDB).

It was reported in the newspapers in June 2007 that the new bank the Sri Lanka Savings Bank Limited (SLSB) was set to open on July 1 in Colombo 8. Then at the end of July, a notice was placed on the Central Bank’s website stating that the assets and liabilities etc of the PSDB was being vested in SLSB and that it was operating from 110, DS Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo 8.

When enquiries were made at that address, we were informed that the bank is not yet operating and not yet opened to the public.

When further enquiries were made, we were informed that an audit must be completed before the new bank could take over the assets and liabilities etc of PSDB. It is known that at the time the PSDB was suspended that the Central Bank carried out an audit and Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants also carried out an independent audit on the instructions of the Monetary Board. According to the amended Banking Act the “the relevant date” means the date on which the defaulting bank is vested in the acquiring bank. On this basis, the relevant date is 1st August 2007 by way of the public announcement made by the Central Bank.

According to the amended Banking Act, “the scheme’ as to how depositors will recover their deposits is also to be made public but to date nothing has been made public.

It is unfortunate that my relative like many other poor innocent depositors have to endure hardships like this. It is also sad that no review is undertaken of the acts of the Central Bank and officials of the Monetary Board who were involved in the suspension of PSDB and the period from the date of suspension to the date on which the new acquiring bank starts to operate. A period of almost five years has lapsed since the fateful day when Pramuka was suspended.

By Amalajeeva A, Wattala.


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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.