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The initial discussions by the then Heads of Banks for the formation of an association representing all banks in Sri Lanka, commenced in 1984.At the time the only organization in operation to represents banks was the Commercial Banks Association (CBA). However, though the number of banks operating in the country at the time was 25, only six or seven foreign Banks sought membership of the CBA. Several attempts made to expand the membership met with reluctance by many of the other banks, especially since the CBA was by character a Trade Union registered under the Trade Union Ordinance and whose basic objectives were confined to personnel, industrial relations and trade union activities. Although the CBA at the time had in fact increasingly dealt with many other general banking matters, its membership had not expanded hence the need for the formation of an association with a membership of all banks.

It is interesting recall the names of the Banking stalwarts of that era, some of whom remain household names even today and who spearheaded the campaign for the formulation of the SLBA. They are, Edgar Gunatunge, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Mrs. Rohini Nanayakkara, R.Thambiah, L.S.D.Peiris, S.de S.Gunatilake, L.Piyadasa, P.B.Ratnayake and also the dynamic Secretary of the CBA, Maurice Cassell who did most of the spadework and attended to the preliminary arrangements for the birth of the SLBA.

A draft Constitution for the association was prepared in July 1984 and a copy was submitted to M/S. F.J. & G.de Saram, legal consultants for their opinion as to its conformity with the legal formalities. On 4th October 1984, the Banks met together and it was unanimously decided to establish the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (SLBA) as a body corporate under the Companies Act.

The following Banks were formally enrolled as members.

  • Algemene Bank Nederland
  • American Express Bank
  • Amsterdam Rotterdam Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Ceylon
  • Bank of Credit and Commerce
  • Bank of Oman
  • Banque Indosuez
  • Chartered Bank
  • Citi Bank
  • Commercial Bank of Ceylon
  • Dubai Bank
  • European Asian Bank
  • Grindlays Bank
  • Habib Bank
  • Habib Bank Zurich
  • Hatton National Bank
  • Hongkong and Shanghai Bank
  • Indian Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Middle East Bank
  • Overseas Trust Bank
  • State Bank of India
  • Union Bank of the Middle East

The People’s Bank joined the SLBA on a subsequent date

The first Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Association was, Mr.D.R.Smith of the Grindlays Bank. His name was proposed by Mr. R. Thambiah and seconded by Mr. L.S.D.Peiris. Mr.Maurice Cassell was unanimously elected Secretary CumTreasurer.

The formal inauguration of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association took place on 2nd January, 1985 in the presence of a distinguished gathering from the Financial and related sectors. The Chief Guest for the occasion was the Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon. Ronnie de Mel. Others present were the Governor, Central Bank, Mr.Warnasena Rasaputra, Senior Deputy Governor, Mr.D.L.Kannangara and a host of senior officials from the Central Bank, the Finance Ministry, the Trade Chambers, World Bank. the I.M.F., Government Departments and of course from the Banking sector.

In April 1994 Mr.Cassell resigned as Secretary to proceed overseas and in June Mr.Gaston Gunawardena took over the Secretary’s position. The designation of the Secretary was changed to Secretary General in January, 1995.Other important milestones were,

  • The incorporation of the Company as Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (Guarantee) Ltd. on 18.07.95, under the Companies Act N o.17 of 1982.(No. N (PBG) 39)
  • Re-registration under Company’s Act No.7 of 2007. (NO.GL 14)

Growth of SLBA Membership over the recent years

Year End 2010 End 2011 End 2012 End 2013 End 2014
Total no of Banks in SL 31 33 33 34 34
No of SLBA Members 30 32 33 34 34

Primary Objects

  • To represent and further the interests of and to support and assist the Licensed Commercial Banks (LCB’s) and Licensed Specialized Banks (LSB’s) in Sri Lanka and banking in Sri Lanka.

  • To assist to maintain and develop a sound banking structure in Sri Lanka.

  • To encourage co-operation and co-ordination between Banks and the public, the government and Provincial or Administrative authorities.

  • To liaise with other national and international bodies, entities and institutions which have common or similar interests of relevance to banks.

  • To render where possible such advice or assistance as may be deemed necessary and expedient to members of the Association.

  • To take note of events, statements and expressions of opinion effecting members, to advise them thereon and to represent their interests.

Board of Directors


At the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (Gtee) Ltd. held on 15 th June 2017, the following were appointed to the Board of Directors for the ensuing year.






Ms Renuka Fernando


Nations Trust Bank


Mr Lakshman Silva

Vice Chairman



Mr Arif M Ali

Vice Chairman

Habib Bank


Mr N Vasantha Kumar


Peoples Bank


Mr T A Ariyapala


Regional Dev. Bank


Mr Mark G Prothero




Mr Rajeev Ratna Srivastava


State Bank of India


Mr Mohamed Azmeer


Amana Bank

Secretary General – Sri Lanka Banks’ Association:
A new Secretary General was appointed to the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association as follows:

Name : Mr Ravi De Silva
Date of appointment : 1 st August 2017

Past Secretary Generals

Secretary/Secretary Generals of SLBA

  • 1985 – 1994 - Mr.Maurice Cassell
  • 1995 – 2004 - Mr.Gaston Gunawardena
  • 2004 – 2017 July - Mr.Upali de Silva
  • 2017 August – to date - Mr.Ravi De Silva


The Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (Guarantee) Ltd. is a Company registered under the Companies Act. A Company limited by ‘Guarantee’ is one that does not issue shares but the members undertake to contribute to the assets of the Company in the event of it being put into liquidation, in an amount specified in the Articles of the Company.

The membership is classified into two categories.

  • Ordinary Members – Only Licensed Commercial Banks can be Ordinary Members.
  • Associate Members – Only Licensed Specialized Banks can be Associate Members.

The Company is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of Chief Executive Officers of Banks. The Secretary General is appointed by the Board and attends to all day to day functions of the Association.


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