Sampath Bank expresses regret after incident at Dehiwala branch

Sampath Bank today expressed regret following an incident at its Dehiwala branch.

A video circulating on social media showed security officers at the Sampath Bank branch preventing an account holder from entering the premises after an issue arose over the inability to conform her identity.

A man was seen on the video questioning the move by the bank to prevent the account holder from entering the premises.

He had asked why the woman was asked to remove her headscarf.

The video also shows a security officer saying they have received instructions from the Head Office to ensure no one enters the bank if their identity cannot be verified.

Bank employees are then seen coming out and requesting for the identification card of the account holder.

However the woman refuses to submit the identification card just to enter the building even before a bank transaction is made.

After the incident drew outrage on social media, Sampath Bank posted a message on Facebook and expressed regret and assured it will take the necessary steps quickly and swiftly. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. I agree 100% with Asitha Bandara.. I am a professional and a Muslim. I had my account with Sampath. Since I know the staff I had no difficulty in getting things done. But I have witnessed enough of their arrogance toward the people..more or less towards innocent Sinhala people..I have wondered many times why the customers, regardless of religion or race stand up against this arrogance as if they are helping us.. anyway I removed my account from Sampath and opened an account in Commercial Bank.. Frankly I am feeling much better with their service and their online service are far more better than Sampath. I do not know who owns Commercial Bank but I feel it is thousand times better than Sampath.
    I do not believe Sampath Bank is doing any service to Sinhala people but use this this racial propaganda to deceive the believing Sinhalese towards them while having branches in north and East trying to get the maximum non Sinhala customers. This is my genuine opinion.

  2. I am a Sinhalese. If you look at the situation without wearing a clolured glass you can see that what the bank has done was unethical. Keep the word muslim in a side. Just look at the incident. I have personally experienced that some of the officers in Sampath bank are thinking about themselves as masters and they look at the customers as the customers are depending on them. Sometimes they are not even following the instructions of the Bank Supervision Department of the Central Bank, since the officers in the Central Bank are keeping closed eye on them, they have become more arrogant and think that they can treat customers as shit.

    I had a incident with Sampath Bank during covid 19 time and they were asking nothing but only the one pound of flesh just like Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. During Covid 19 time they refused my requests and ignored even replying to my mails. Sampath bank was not even bothered to reply even as a courtesy. Luckily Commercial Bank stepped up and help me. Commercial bank saved the jobs of my staff. Otherwise with the effects of Covid 19 I had to close down my business. (I was not asking for a lone but some other facility)

    Under the same circumstances Sampath Bank did not help but Commercial Bank did. This shows that they have their (stupid) standards. After this incident I stop banking with Sampath Bank and even told my staff that they should have a bank account other than Sampath Bank to receive their salaries.

    Just like Niyomal Fernando says the Bank is not going to fall just because I stop all the transactions with them. But as a customer I can do my day to day banking with another bank with relaxation and peace of mind.

    Just because I am a Sinhala Buddhist and the Bank claims that it helps Sinhala Buddhist, (I do not know if the bank claims that or the people who are in surrounding the bank claims that) should not be the criteria for me to be with the bank. if I the bank is indifferent or if the bank is not respecting me as a customer I don’t need that bank.

    Any organization can not just expect the customers to be loyal because of their logo or the slogan, They have to earn the customer loyalty.

  3. This is what happened when someone bombs the people for the sake of their religion. Killing, Bombing Catholic people- not racist. Asked to remove scarf- ohh very racist. Mfs

  4. Aiyoo oya sunil gon bichek! He is trying to be a professor here trying to justify even after Sampath bank PLC has regretted over the matter. Racists can be racists if they wont but to hear their opinions all the budhists and muslims in Srilanka must be donkeys like him.Aney pow!

  5. Madness .that sunil is an uneducated fellow. Mu gon bitchek. First of all covering or revealing one’s head does not matter for personal identification. Then covering the face with a mask or niqab is the same as both reveal and cover simmilar facial areas, and if niqab should be took over to reveal identification then masks also should be. Then dear sunil do banks check each every customer for identification purposes?? If u want u can be a racist but i warn u every buddhists & muslimsin SL r not fools like u

  6. To enter the bank no need ID card and should remove the face mask that is it. While other people entering the bank without showing ID card Why only for the Muslim? This is Educated Racism.
    No Need to Regret… best things is close all the Muslim accounts from the bank it’s self if you have back bond or The Muslim should close all the accounts.

  7. To enter the bank no need ID card and should remove the face mask that is it. While other people entering the bank without showing ID card Why only for the Muslim? This is Educated Racism.
    No Need to Regret… best things is close all the Muslim accounts from the bank it’s self if you have back bond or The Muslim should close all the accounts.

    • Then close all the accounts. Like the banks are going to fall if muslims close their accounts. Who is the racist now? Plus, bank doesn’t need to regret. Why would they? Security can ask for ID. The woman and that man over reacted.
      And let’s not talk about educated Racim. So far as everyone in sri lanka are aware of, it’s the Islamic politicians, lawyers and even doctors who has been racists, terrorrists and supporters of terrorism.

  8. Sunil only oxymorons like you fuel the situation. Get a real life instead of spreading racism

  9. Why should the Bank Regret? You have done the right thing.

    Timidity and diplomacy are two different things.

  10. Nothing to regret. This is for Bank and other customers Security.
    She could be a terrorist, a man pretending to be a woman, a robber etc. etc. If some incident had taken place, the Security Staff will get the stick, probably dismissal. Rules are Rules.
    Why did she refuse to produce the ID Card ? Don’t get over sensitive over this.

    • Better if you could have a proper knowledge about the difference between a head scarf and a face cover. You can Identify a person from a headscarf because her face is not covered.
      And Terrorists never wored the Muslim attire when they bombed places…

      Last Year face cover was banned, this year everyone had to cover their faces….

    • Don’t be ridiculous. Everyone is supposed to wear a facemask for health reasons and this woman is singled out because of a headscarf? What nonsense.

    • That’s ridiculous. The two ladies were right at the door of the branch, pretty much inside of the building. And you’re suggesting they could be terrorists! If they were terrorists, it’s way too late to prevent anything when they are right at the door. You also think checking their IDs will somehow help identify terrorists.

      Folks like you as at this Sampath bank branch are harassing civilians carrying on with their routine life. Complete lack of any intelligence; perhaps blinded by racial hatred.

    • Nothing to regret?! No,they should regret. As u said “RULES ARE RULES”, then Each and every customer shud proceed their ID card. But why should only a muslim women who wears a headscarf shold only proceed her ID card?
      And then u said she can be a terrorist but why can’t a terrorist wear surgical mask and wear a fancy dress and enter the bank? Because now the government itself is force us to wear a mask and will be punnished if we don’t. Just throw away ur nasty racial talks.
      Atlast just throw away all ur rubbish racial talks and behaviors.

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