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How CBSL Chief took commercial bank heads on a roller coaster of lies

Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka addressing a meeting held with the heads of the local commercial banks yesterday (06) said he held a discussion with 75 foreign ambassadors via zoom, in what it appeared to be a blatant lie given that there are no 75 foreign embassies and high commissions in Sri Lanka.

Amused by Weerasinghe’s lie, many of the commercial bank heads could not control their laughter, according to sources.

Despite having the bank heads invited to discuss future banking issues amidst the prevailing economic crisis in the country, none of the commercial bank chairmen were given the opportunity to speak, except the CBSL Chief himself and several officials under him. At one point, even one bank head was reported to have directly demanded Weerasinghe for ‘a chance to talk!’

Ignoring the request, the Governor of the CBSL continued to speak and urged the bank heads not to let shadow money transfers or commonly known as the ‘undiyal system’ or ‘hawala’ continue, bewildering the commercial chairmen in the event that this was not the responsibility of the commercial banks but the CBSL itself. At one point, one bank head made his argument on the matter as well, sources divulged.

Weerasinghe thereafter stated that the country’s inflation has now exceeded to 40 per cent and there is a shortfall of Rs. 07 billion in the market, briefing the country’s economic situation which the bank heads already had knowledge on.

One of the bank heads asked the CBSL Governor what the average dividend for banks would be at the end of 2022, when bank interest rates have exceeded 20 per cent and small and medium enterprises have completely collapsed. Not bothered to produce a response, Weerasinghe told him that these are but ‘general’ matters.

Counter proposing, the bank head pointed out that it was not possible to deny answers in the event that shareholders of the private banks are interested in this matter, despite any unwillingness of the state banks.

Governor Weerasinghe continued his speech and concluded the meeting by saying that the prevailing financial crisis would be ended in three months.

Leaving the room, the heads were talking to each other saying, “the Rajapaksas have always screwed things up because of such people. This man would probably do his ‘best’ to make sure it happens too,” sources further revealed.

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