By Colombo Telegraph –
The NDB Bank defended its decision to release the personal account information of Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake to ” authorities” which it refused to name which also received the attention of the mainstream media, The Island newspaper reports today.
“We did the right thing on the advice of our lawyers and we were correct in our decision where we followed an ethical process,” NDB Bank Director/ CEO Russel De Mel told The Island Financial Review last night
He was responding to a question from The Island newspaper as to under what circumstances and ethics it released her personal information to “the authorities” due to the widely acknowledged secrecy clause in banking laws that personal account information could not be disclosed publicly.
The Banking Act No. 30 of 1988 specifies that banks have to be strict on the information and the operations of the bank and also its customers, but it could disclose information which is required by a Court of Law by the person or for the person that the information relates to in the performance of their duties and to comply with the provisions of the law.
When the newspaper asked what or who the “authorities” were and asked whether it was the Parliamentary Select Committee which probed the allegations, he was extremely tightlipped, The Island reported.
“The process is on where the first phase of the Parliamentary Select Committee is over and the second phase where the impeachment will be debated in Parliament will come soon. This is indeed a sensitive issue and we have decided to wait till the dust settles,” De Mel told The Island.
According to the newspaper, he also said that the Bank had been asked to maintain deft silence on the issue on the advise of lawyers. The name of the NDB Bank had been mentioned in many places and it was best to maintain silence, or else, it could lead to other complications. “There is also a public list where other witnesses have also been called as well which also includes other banks,” he said.
Last June, the UK based World Finance magazine rated NDB as the ‘Best Commercial Bank’ in Sri Lanka. World Finance is a highly acclaimed international business journal that is renowned globally for its accuracy, credibility and wide readership. The prestigious accolade was awarded in recognition of the bank’s commitment to continued excellence and superior service to its customers. The award appraises excellence achieved by banks against several criteria, which include; overall performance, financial ratios, variety and clarity of products and services, corporate governance, alternative financial products offering, parallel market interaction and competitive strategy.
Commenting on the award, Chief Executive Officer of NDB Group, Russell De Mel said “We operate in a highly competitive market, which is a reflection of the sophistication of our customers today. With many banks competing in the market, present day customers are demanding for innovative, customized solutions that cater to a diverse range of individual needs.
This award demonstrates that we have the right strategy; supported by a performance driven culture, an innovative range of products as well as people with the right attitude to deliver consistent and sustainable value to our customers and other stakeholders.”
Two days ago a former Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, a former President of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and LMD Sri Lankan of the year 2001 Chandra Jayaratne has also raised the issue of leaking CJ’s banking details in an open later to the bankers.