Message from Former Secretary General, Sri Lanka Banks’ Association

I congratulate the President and his team for the successful launch of this website. This is a major step in fulfilling the stated objectives of ACOB, to disseminate Compliance related issues and also provide a forum for discussion.

One cannot overemphasize the critical nature of Compliance today, especially in the financial sector. I recall an era when the Compliance function of a Bank was assigned to an official, as an additional ‘responsibility’ to his designated role, just to comply with the regulatory requirement to have such an officer. Traditionally the primary responsibility of the Compliance Officer was to ensure the Bank is in compliance with the timely reporting requirements of the Regulator. Today, in the heavily regulated banking industry, the compliance function encompasses collaboration with finance, risk, legal, information technology etc. in order to drive the business to success while fulfilling all of its compliance needs. In order to achieve this, the Compliance Officer is required to acquire extensive knowledge about governmental and financial regulations and laws. These include regulations such as the Banking Act, the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act, the Financial Transactions Reporting Act and since of late the formidable Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act of U.S.A. As the CO’s role keeps on evolving, compliance has become more integrated with business performance and CO’s need to assume a more strategic role. In the present complex business and regulatory environment, they are expected to deliver better information to help executive management identify and manage organizational risks.

In such a context the Senior Management and even the Board of Directors must view the CO’s role as critical in executing organizational strategy and also should acknowledge their role in shaping organizational ethics. When a culture of compliance is lacking or ineffective, the result could have devastating consequences, including fines, loss of confidence of stakeholders, greater regulatory scrutiny, to mention a few.

In such a background I must commend the members of  ACOB  for the efforts made by them to continuously update themselves to meet the ever-evolving demands on Compliance which no doubt has enabled them to effectively take up the  challenges thrown at them by the Regulator and by Legislation both local and foreign and to safeguard the interests of the institution they serve.

This website, no doubt, will provide to those new to the subject of Compliance, invaluable insight to the nitty- gritty of this complex subject.

Upali de Silva
Former Secretary General,
Sri Lanka Banks’ Association

Message from President, ACOB – Sri Lanka

It is indeed a great pleasure to send this short message for the launch of the “Official Website” of the Association of Compliance Officers of Banks – Sri Lanka.

Formally established in 2010, the Association of Compliance Officers of Banks – Sri Lanka (ACOB) has always created a forum to promote common understanding among Compliance Officers on rules and regulations that govern the industry of banking in Sri Lanka which also facilitated sharing experience and knowledge across all banks operating in Sri Lanka, in building an effective compliance culture. In addition, ACOB serves as a focal point for bringing issues faced by the Compliance Officers to the attention of regulators through close coordination with Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (Guarantee) Ltd.

I am confident that this website which is being launched today, will be of immense value not only to the “Compliance Banking Community” in the country, by being a platform to share knowledge and information and discuss issues but also to the general public, by enlightening them of the new regulations applicable to the “Industry of Banking”

Whilst my sincere thanks are extended to those who contributed to make this website a reality, my ardent hope is that this forum would steer all of us towards ACOB’s vision of “Establishing an Effective Compliance Culture in the Industry of Banking in Sri Lanka”.

Sudarshana Jayasekera

Message from Secretary ACOB – Sri Lanka

It is with great pleasure that I convey this message as the Secretary of the Association of Compliance Officers of Banks on this occasion of launching the website of the ACOB. Being a member of this Association from its inception, as the AML Officers’ Association to the present Association, it is very exciting to have this website launched. I am humbly excited at this occasion since this idea of having a website for the Association was conceptualized by me when I was heading the Publication Committee, while trying to find a way to publish a newsletter among members of the Association.

As mentioned in the Emergence of Association Article, it is of vital importance that Compliance Officers of Banks share their experience and build a dialogue between different stakeholders to have in place systems and process that would manage the compliance risk better and to develop an effective compliance culture within the organization. In this regard, it is of utmost importance that we move with the new technology and thus this initiation of the ACOB website, I believe, would be the first step of a long journey ahead.  It would no doubt create a branding for the Sri Lankan Compliance Officers.

I take this opportunity to thank the present publication committee who developed and worked tirelessly to organize the matters and make this concept a reality.

I also would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Web Developers Epitom Trinergy (Pvt) Ltd. who managed to bring the dream of this web to a success.

I acknowledge with gratitude Bhanu Wijayaratne who provided the guest article for this launch.

I further would like to extend my appreciation to all other members who contributed with their time and effort to make this a reality.

I wish all the very best for the website and also to the Association.

Dilani Sooriyaarachchi