Business Times

Seylan Bank’s top three officials resign

Seylan Bank General Manager/CEO Ajitha Pasqual and two other experienced deputy general managers at the bank – Leoni Seneviratne and C. Kotigala – have resigned under new Central Bank (CB) regulations covering corporate governance as they had served as board directors when the crisis hit the bank, but will remain as consultants for a year.

Seylan Bank Chairman Eastman Narangoda confirmed the changes saying the three could not continue in their posts owing to the November 24, 2010 rule by the Central Bank but will continue as consultants at the bank. “They had all served on a previous board of directors of the bank,” he said.

In an announcement earlier this week to the Colombo Stock Exchange, the bank said. Mr Pasqual resigned from the post of General Manager/CEO of Seylan Bank with effect from December 30, 2010 but will continue as Consultant at the bank till December 29, 2011 to ensure a ‘smooth transition of duties’. It did not give details.

According to the November 24, 2010 CB rule based on the ‘assessment of fitness & propriety of officers serving executive functions in licensed commercial banks”, all senior managers must give an undertaking through an affidavit affirming that they have not been involved in any fraud, deceit, criminal activity or found guilty by a commission of inquiry or tribunal.

Although there are no allegations of wrongdoing against the three Seylan Bank senior officers, they were members of the board of directors when the Central Bank was forced to step in and take over the bank followed the threat of collapse in early 2009 in the wake of the Ceylinco empire crumbling. Seylan Bank at the time was chaired by Lalith Kotelawala and was said to have issued many bad loans in previous years.

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