BOC Chairman explains why GM was sent on leave

Explaining the reasons for sending its General Manager, Mr. D M Gunasekara, on leave until investigations into several matters concerning the Bank of Ceylon are completed, BOC Chairman Ronald Perera explained that this was done to ensure that the conduct of such investigations is independent and impartial.

"We will take all steps to complete these investigations and clear the issues, within a short period of time," he said.

Gunasekera is on paid leave and enjoys all his perks and privileges, BOC sources said. Mr. P.J. Jayasinghe, DGM (Support Services) has been appointed Acting GM while the thepermanent holder of the position is on leave, these sources said.

In a statement issued in this connection, Perera said BOC is a long, well established and respected banking institution with a history of more than seven and a half decades. His board and he are deeply committed to sustain and enhance this reputation.

"This presents us with a challenge, which was greatly heightened due to the adverse publicity and negative sentiments, expressed in the media recently.  This situation does not augur well for the Bank or the financial system as a whole considering the systemic importance of Bank of Ceylon to the country," he said.

``We believe that it is incumbent upon the Board to address this situation. In furtherance thereof, it has become necessary to determine the exposures to risk of several key functional areas of the Bank as well as to conduct special purpose audits, via the deployment of internal and external auditors.

``As the Bankers to the nation, we are not only serving our stakeholders to fulfill their financial needs but also committed to maintaining practices of good governance, at the highest levels.

``We sincerely hope that our stakeholders will appreciate these measures of good governance."

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