Business Times

CB says still probing NSB-TFC deal

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

The Central Bank (CB) says that it’s awaiting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s completion of probe into the controversial National Savings Bank (NSB) – The Finance Company (TFC) deal and will ‘explore’ taking action subsequently.

“Already one regulator has taken action pertaining to this deal. If we also take action it’ll be an overdose. Also this is more related to the SEC. Now more or less the dust has settled and we must be mindful not to go over the top with regulation,” a CB source told the Business Times.

When queried whether the NSB has violated the Banking Act, he said that CB is still exploring this. In a related development, the SEC probe into the activities of the role played by Taprobane Securities CEO Dinal Wijemanne will be completed within three months. Mr Wijemanne was involved, in many ways as the seller of a large stake of The Finance Co to the National Savings Bank, while his firm was both the buying and selling broker. The NSB board including its chairman Pradeepa Kariyawasam resigned over the flawed deal.

The SEC issued a Directive dated 23rd May 2012 to the Chairman and Board of Directors of Taprobane Securities to suspend Mr. Wijemanne with immediate effect from functioning in that capacity or in any other capacity for and on behalf of the above said company pending the conclusion of the investigations by the SEC.

Separately Taprobane Securities has launched its own internal investigation into the issue. “Dinal submitted his leave application on Wednesday and he'll be on leave till the internal Taprobane investigation is completed as well as until the SEC probe is over," a source close to the company, said.

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