Sri Lanka says it remains committed to prevent financial crimes

Sri Lanka has long identified the risk of financial crime as a priority area, given the country’s history in battling a sophisticated terror organization, Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera said.

A number of measures were taken over the years and the Government is currently working on bringing on necessary amendments to some of the existing regulations with the objective of preventing financial crimes.

Samaraweera made these remarks at a roundtable discussion on ‘Financial Regulation: Working Together to Address De-Risking,’ held on the sidelines of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), at the Mansion House in London, today (17).

The Minister stated that the sophistication of financial crimes has increased exponentially in recent years and is a threat to all nations which has resulted in a number of negative fallouts for international finance.

“One such negative fall-out is “de-risking”, the scenario of global banks selectively withdrawing from the business of correspondent banking. This can have highly detrimental implications for banks in developing countries in particular as it can shut them out of the global financial architecture,” the Minister added.

Minister Samaraweera also stated that the challenge for countries like Sri Lanka is how to ensure continued progress of financial inclusion in this context.

“At a more micro-level, one of the major objectives of our government, embodied in the 2018 Budget themed Enterprise Sri Lanka, is to empower entrepreneurs by providing access to finance. In order to ensure access to finance at grass roots level, it is important for the Sri Lankan financial system to have robust access and engagement with the global financial architecture”, Samaraweera said. (Colombo Gazette)