BANKING ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

Licensing of Persons Carrying on Banking Business

2. Licensing of banks.

3. Application for a licence.

4. Companies and bodies corporate incorporated outside Sri Lanka to remit currency to Sri Lanka.

5. Issue of licence.

6. Limits imposed on all licensed commercial banks.

7. Bank of Ceylon, People's Bank not to be restricted by preceding provisions in the exercise of powers.

8. Payment of licence fee.

9. Notice of cancellation of licence issued to a licensed commercial bank.

10. Directions of Board where notice cancellation is issued.

11. Commercial bank to suspend business.

11A. Section 30 of the Monetary Law Act to be applicable.

12. Approval of the Monetary Board necessary prior to carrying on certain transactions.

13. Withdrawal of variation of approval under section 12.

13A. Mobile Banking Units.

14. Compliance of persons and banks suspected of carrying on banking business.

14A. Memorandum of persons and banks suspected of carrying on banking business.

15. Provisions of this Part not to apply to the Monetary Board or Central Bank.

PART II

Banking Names and Descriptions

16. Restriction on use of certain names and descriptions.

17. Licensed commercial bank not to have as its subsidiary a company which is not a licensed commercial bank.

17A. Purchase of shares fifty percent or less by a licensed commercial bank.

PART III

Capital Requirements, Reserve Funds and Maintenance of Liquid Assets

18. Compliance with provisions of this Part essential.

19. Capital.

20. Reserve fund.

21. Liquid Assets.

22. Payment of dividends.

PART IV

Off-Shore Banking Business

23. Licence to engage in off-shore banking.

24. Parts III, V, and VI not to apply to off-shore banking in certain circumstances.

25. Nature of business an off-shore unit is authorised to carry on.

26. Monetary Board to authorise off-shore banking business.

27. Off-shore unit to prepare balance sheet and profit and loss account.

28. Monetary Board to specify form of balance sheet and profit and loss account.

29. Parts III, VI, VII of Chapter V of the Monetary Law Act not to apply in certain circumstances.

30. Preparation of annual report.

31. Monetary Board to cause examination consequent to auditor's report.

32. Maintenance of books and accounts.

33. Powers of the Director of bank Supervision over off-shore unit.

34. Power of Monetary Board to call for information.

PART IVA

Numbered Accounts

34A. Repealed.

34B. Secrecy.

34C. Repealed.

34D. Repealed.

PART V

Accounts, Audit, Information and Inspection

35. Preparation of balance sheet and profit and loss account.

36. Balance sheet.

37. Profit and loss account.

38. Publication of balance sheet and profit and loss account.

38A. Director of Bank Supervision to issue list of qualified auditors.

39. Appointment of auditor.

40. Consequences of failure to submit audit report.

41. Monetary Board to cause examination of a licensed commercial bank or any of its subsidiaries.

PART VI

Disqualification for Appointment as Director, Secretary of Licensed Commercial Banks

42. Disqualification for being appointment as or election Director.

43. Secretary of a licensed commercial bank.

44. Disqualification for being appointed as Manager or Secretary of a licensed commercial bank.

44A. Chief Executive Officers and executive officers.

PART VII

Control Over Licensed Commercial Banks

45. Power of the Director of Bank Supervision.

46. Monetary Board to give directions to licensed commercial banks.

46A. Imposition of general and specific provisions requirements for bad and doubtful debts.

47. Conditions for the grant of a loan by way of accommodation.

48. Licensed commercial bank not to engage in buying selling.

49. Prohibition in the sale, transfer, of immovable assets.

49A. In case of insolvency to inform Director of Bank supervision.

PART VIIA

Vesting the Banking Business of a Licensed Commercial Bank

49B. Order vesting banking business of any licensed Bank.

49C. Order to be made after the acquiring bank agrees to comply with terms and conditions.

49D. Effect of an Order.

49E. The extent of the liability of the acquiring bank in respect of foreign currency depositors.

49F. Audit of accounts and valuation of vested business.

49G. Saving Provision.

49H. Payment of compensation.

49J. Offences.

49K. Section 12(1)(c) not to apply in respect of defaulting bank.

49L. Interpretation.

PART VIII

Liquidation of Licensed Commercial Banks Incorporated within Sri Lanka and Closure of Branches of Licensed Commercial Banks Incorporated Outside Sri Lanka

50. Liquidator.

51. Liquidation.

52. Licensed commercial bank to cease to carry on business.

53. Notice of liquidation to be sent to depositors, creditors.

54. Safeguard rights of depositors and creditors.

55. Licensed commercial bank removed from list of licensed commercial banks.

56. Compulsory liquidation.

57. Director to take charge of all books records and assets.

58. Director of Bank Supervision to have full management and control for the purpose of liquidation.

59. Claims to be extended where liquidation proceedings have been instituted.

60. Power of Director of Bank Supervision to terminate contracts.

61. Termination of fiduciary functions.

62. Director of Bank Supervision to issue statement to depositors.

63. Safe deposit boxes.

64. Functions of Director of Bank Supervision in relation to liquidation proceedings of a licensed commercial bank.

65. Objection to Schedule.

66. Priority of claims.

67. Distribution of assets.

68. Unclaimed funds.

69. Audited account to be submitted to Court.

70. Closure of licensed commercial banks incorporated outside Sri Lanka.

71. This Part to prevail over any other law.

PART IX

Abandoned Property

72. Abandoned property.

73. Abandoned property to be transferred to a special account.

74. Publication of notice regarding abandoned property.

75. Repayment by the Central Bank.

76. Failure to deliver property presumed to be abandoned to be an offence.

PART IXA

Licensed Specialised Banks

76A. Licensing of certain institutions.

76B. Application for licence.

76C. Issue of licence.

76D. Forms of business to be carried on by a licensed specialised bank and payment of annual licence fee.

76E. Register of Specialised banks.

76F. Cancellation of licence of a licenced specialised bank.

76G. Equity capital to be maintained by a licensed specialised bank.

76H. Part V and Part VI to apply to a licenced specialised bank.

76J. Directions of the Monetary Board.

76K. Procedure where licensed specialised banks follow unsafe practices.

76L. Power of Director of Bank Supervision to examine books and accounts of licensed specialised bank.

76M. Winding up or dissolution.

76N. Power of Director of Bank Supervision to issue directions in respect of connected matters.

PART X

General

77. Declaration of secrecy.

78. Protection for action taken under this Act or on the directions of the Monetary Board.

79. Offences.

79A. Compounding of offences.

80. Persons who fail to take reasonable steps under the Act to be guilty of an offence.

81. Offence by a body corporate.

81A. Schedules II and IV to be amended by resolution.

82. Regulations.

82A. This Act to prevail over other laws.

83. Licensed Commercial Bank deemed to be an approved credit agency.

83A. Pawn Brokers Ordinance not to apply.

83B. Commercial bank deemed to be an exempted company.

83C. Prohibition on conduct of certain Schemes.

PART XI

Repeal

84. Amendment to the Monetary Law Act.

85. Amendment to the Companies Act, No.17 of 1982.

PART XII

Interpretation

86. Interpretation.

SCHEDULES

30 of 1988,

39 of 1990,

33 of 1995,

2 of 2005,

15 of 2006,

46 of 2006.

AN ACT to provide for the introduction and operation of a procedure for the licensing of persons carrying on the banking business and of carrying on the business of accepting deposits and investing such money; for the regulation and control of matters relating to such business; and to provides for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Subs by s 2 of Act 33 of 1995.]

[Date of Commencement: Part I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and XII 16th September, 1988; Part V 20th September 1988]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Banking Act.

PART I

Licensing of Persons Carrying on Banking Business

2. Licensing of banks.

(1) On or after the appointed date, no banking business shall be carried on except by a company under the authority of a licence issued by the Monetary Board with the approval of the Minister.

(2) Where such company is a company incorporated outside Sri Lanka no licence shall be issued unless such company has complied with the provisions of Part XIII of the Companies Act, No. 17 of 1982.

(3) Any company which has been issued a licence under the provisions of this Part shall, hereinafter be referred to as a "licensed commercial bank”.

[S 2(3) am by s 2 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1)
and (2) of this section and of section 3 of this Act, all commercial banks specified in Schedule I to this Act, which on the appointed date are carrying on banking business, shall be issued a licence in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(5) Any company which carries on banking business in contravention of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(6) For the purpose of this section "company” shall have the same meaning as in section 449 of the Companies Act, No. 17 of 1982, and include a company duly incorporated outside Sri Lanka, or body corporate formed in pursuance of any statute of any foreign country, Royal Charter or letters patent and a body corporate established by or under any written law and shall not include the Central Bank or a private company incorporated outside Sri Lanka except the banks specified in Schedule I to this Act.

[S 2(6) ins by s 3 of Act 33 of 1995.]

3. Application for a licence.

(1) An application for a licence shall be made in writing to the Monetary Board in such manner as may be determined by the Monetary Board.

(2) Every application for a licence shall be accompanied by­—

(a) in the case of a company to be formed for the purpose of carrying on banking business—

(i) a copy of the draft Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association of the company to be formed or the draft Constitution or any other document associated with the formation of such company; and

(ii) a statement containing the names, addresses, occupations and qualifications of the persons proposed as Directors, and if a Chief Executive Officer has been identified, of such officer;

(b) in the case of a company formed before the date of the application and which intends to commence banking business—

(i) a copy of the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association of such company or the Constitution or any other document associated with the formation of such company, together with the proposed amendments, if any, to such documents; and

(ii) a statement containing the names, addresses, occupations and qualifications of the Directors of the company and any Directors proposed to be nominated or appointed and of the Chief Executive Officer of such company;

(iii) a copy of the audited balance sheet and profit and loss account of the company for the preceding three years;

(c) in the case of an application by a company or body corporate incorporated outside Sri Lanka, such company shall in addition to the documents specified in
paragraph (b) submit—

(i) a written undertaking supported by a resolution of the Board of Directors of such company or body corporate, stating that such company or body corporate, as the case may be, shall on demand by the Central Bank, provide such funds as may be necessary to meet all obligations incurred in or in connection with, its business in Sri Lanka; and

(ii) a report containing such information as may be determined by the Monetary Board, from the regulatory authority of the country in which such company or body corporate is incorporated.

[S 3(2) subs by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(3) On receipt of an application under subsection (1) by the Monetary Board, the Director of Bank Supervision may, where such Director considers it necessary, require the applicant to furnish to the Monetary Board such other documents, information or other particulars, in order to determine whether a licence should be issued or not.

[S 3(3) subs by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(4) Where on consideration of the documents, information and particulars submitted to the Monetary Board under subsections (1), (2) and (3) and on such further investigations as it may consider necessary, the Monetary Board is satisfied that the application may be approved in principle, it may issue a Letter of Provisional Approval to the applicant. On receipt of the Letter of Provisional Approval, the applicant shall take all preliminary measures as may be required in terms of such Letter, prior to the issue of a licence under section 5, and specified in such Letter.

[S 3(4) subs by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(5) The Letter of Provisional Approval issued under subsection (4) shall be valid for the period stated in such Letter. Such period shall however not exceed twelve months from the date of issue of such Letter and the period of validity may only be extended by the Monetary Board in writing, in exceptional circumstances.

[S 3(5) subs by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(6) The Monetary Board shall cause a copy of each Letter of Provisional Approval issued under subsection (4) and of any communication extending the period of validity of such Letter under subsection (5), or any withdrawal in terms of subsection (7), to be sent to the Registrar of Companies.

[S 3(6) ins by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(7) The issue of Letter of Provisional Approval under subsection (4) shall not bind the Monetary Board to issue a licence under section 5 to the company or the company to be formed for the purpose of carrying on banking business (hereinafter referred to as a "proposed company”), in respect of which the Letter of Provisional Approval has been issued, and the Monetary Board may, on the basis of investigations carried out by it under subsection (10) withdraw such Letter or refrain from issuing a licence under section 5 on any one or more of the following grounds:

(a) that the Monetary Board is not satisfied with the suitability of the company or the proposed company to be issued, with a licence;

(b) that the company or proposed company has not complied with the conditions stipulated in the Letter of Provisional Approval;

(c) that the company or proposed company has not complied with the requirements under this Act for the issue of a licence;

(d) that any information contained in the application for a licence or any information submitted in connection therewith by the company or proposed company is found to be false or incorrect; or

(e) that there has been, in the opinion of the Monetary Board, a sufficiently significant change in the economic and the banking environment of the country that warrants the suspension of the issue of licence under section 5:

Provided however, the Monetary Board shall before withdrawing a Letter of Provisional Approval issued in terms of the provisions of this subsection to an applicant in terms of subsection (4), or if a decision is taken by the Monetary Board under this subsection to refrain from issuing a licence, give sufficient notice in writing to the applicant stating the grounds for such withdrawal or decision to refrain from issuing a licence and shall afford him an opportunity of being heard.

[S 3(7) ins by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(8) A company or a proposed company in respect of which a Letter of Provisional Approval has been issued under subsection (4) shall not commence banking business before the issue of a licence under section 5. Every advertisement, prospectus, notice or other publication issued by the company or proposed company before the issue of the licence shall be required to specify that it has not been issued a licence to carry on banking business under this Act.

[S 3(8) ins by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(9) A licence shall not be issued under section 5 to a company formed and incorporated under the Companies Act, No. 17 of 1982 unless—

(a) the company is a public company;

(b) the Memorandum of Association of the company sets out as its primary object, the carrying on of banking business as defined in this Act; and

(c) the Memorandum of Association of the Company restricts the other forms of business the company may carry on, if any, to any or all of the forms of business specified in Schedule II to this Act.

[S 3(9) ins by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(10)—

(a) The Monetary Board may, at any time prior to the issue of a licence under section 5, conduct such investigations as it may deem necessary to satisfy itself as to the suitability of the company or proposed company to be issued with a licence, having regard to the interests of the national economy, including the banking needs of Sri Lanka.

(b) At an investigation conducted under paragraph (a) the Monetary Board may require the applicant to satisfy the Board on any matter relevant to the suitability of the company or the proposed company and in particular—

(i) the validity and acceptability of the documents and particulars submitted by the applicant;

(ii) the financial status and history of the company or the proposed company;

(iii) the financial standing, experience and suitability of the Directors, Chief Executive Officer and such other officers of the company performing executive functions as may be determined by the Monetary Board or the persons proposed to be appointed to such positions in the proposed company, as the case may be;

(iv) of the adequacy of the capital of the company or based on the information furnished by the applicant on behalf of the proposed company, the ability of the proposed company to raise adequate capital;

(v) of the ability of the company or the proposed company to cover all obligations and liabilities incurred in the conduct of business in Sri Lanka and to comply with the provisions of the Act;

(vi) the applicant's compliance with the provisions of the Act or any directions given under the Act in relation to the application for a licence under the Act.

[S 3(10) ins by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(11) Any person who submits information or particulars in an application for a licence or in any other document submitted in connection therewith or in the course of any inquiry or investigation conducted to ascertain the suitability of the company or the proposed company to be issued with a licence under this Act, which to the knowledge of the person is false or misleading in any material particular, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

[S 3(11) ins by s 3 of Act 2 of 2005.]

4. Companies and bodies corporate incorporated outside Sri Lanka to remit currency to Sri Lanka.

[Am by s 5(3) of Act 33 of 1995.]

(1) The Monetary Board may require any company or body corporate incorporated outside Sri Lanka, which has applied for a licence under section 3, to undertake to remit to Sri Lanka, prior to the commencement of their business in Sri Lanka, a sum of money, determined with the approval of the Minister, in United States Dollars, or its equivalent in any designated foreign currency. The amount so remitted may form part of the assigned capital of such company or incorporated body and shall be kept as a deposit with the Central Bank or in such other manner as may be determined from time to time by the Monetary Board.

[S 4(1) am by s 5(1) of Act 33 of 1995.]

(2) The Monetary Board may, where such Board considers it necessary or expedient to do so in the interest of national economy, from time to time, make further determinations as regards the remittance of money after the expiry of a period of six months from the date of the last of such determinations.

(3) A determination made under this section shall apply uniformly to all companies and bodies corporate incorporated outside Sri Lanka which apply for a licence after each such determination.

[S 4(3) am by s 5(2) of Act 33 of 1995.]

5. Issue of licence.

(1) Where the Monetary Board is satisfied that a licence may be issued to a company or a proposed company to carry on banking business, it may, with the approval of the Minister, issue a licence to the company or proposed company to carry on banking business in Sri Lanka subject to such terms and conditions as may be imposed by the Monetary Board.

(2) The licence issued under subsection (1) shall specify—

(a) whether it authorises the company to carry on domestic banking business or off-shore banking business or both such businesses;

(b) the place or places or the area within which such banking business may be carried on; and

(c) the terms and conditions subject to which such licence is issued.

(3) Every licensed commercial bank shall display a copy of the licence issued to it under subsection (1) in a conspicuous place at its principal place of business in Sri Lanka and each of its branches.

[S 5 subs by s 4 of Act 2 of 2005.]

6. Limits imposed on all licensed commercial banks.

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 17, no licensed commercial bank shall—

(a) carry on any banking business other than the business specified in the licence; or

(b) carry on any other form of business other than those specified in Schedule II to this Act

7. Bank of Ceylon, People's Bank, not to be restricted by preceding provisions in the exercise of powers.

Nothing contained in the provisions of section 6 shall be construed so as to restrict the Bank of Ceylon or the People's Bank, established under the Bank of Ceylon Ordinance, the People's Bank Act, No. 29 of 1961, respectively, and any Regional Rural Development Bank established under the Regional Rural Development Bank Act, No. 15 of 1985, in the exercise of the powers conferred on each such bank by and under the aforesaid statutes applicable to each of such banks, respectively.

8. Payment of licence fee.

(1) Every licensed commercial bank shall pay to the Central Bank an annual licence fee as may be determined by the Monetary Board, having regard to the different classes of banking business carried on by such bank.

(2) The Monetary Board shall inform each such licensed commercial bank the amount payable as licence fee, and the manner in which such fee shall be paid.

(3) Where a licence fee is determined in respect of classes of banking business such fee shall apply to all banks carrying on such classes of business.

9. Notice of cancellation of licence issued to a licensed commercial bank.

(1) Where the Monetary Board is satisfied that any licensed commercial bank has—

(a) failed to commence business within nine months of the issue of the licence under section 5; or

(b) failed to pay any debts incurred by it, on such debts becoming due; or

(c) had a petition or action for relief filed against such licensed commercial bank, and has had appointed in respect of such bank under any bankruptcy law or any other law which provides for relief of debtors or which relates to debtors, a liquidator or receiver; or

(d) ceased to carry on banking business; or

(e) contravened any provisions of this Act or any direction, order or other requirement imposed under this Act; or

(f) furnished false, misleading or inaccurate information or documents to the Monetary Board or in the case of a proposed company the applicant for the licence has furnished such information or documents in connection with its application for the licence; or

(g) carried on, or is carrying on, its business in a manner likely to be detrimental to the interests of its depositors,

the Monetary Board may give notice that it would cancel the licence issued to such bank and shall communicate such notice to such licensed commercial bank.

(2) A licensed commercial bank may tender objections in writing to the Monetary Board against the notice of intended cancellation under subsection (1), within fourteen days of the date of receipt of such notice, giving reasons why the licence issued to it under section 5 should not be so cancelled.

(3) The Monetary Board may, within thirty days from the last date for tendering objections under subsection (2), after considering the objections if any, tendered to it under that subsection and after hearing the licensed commercial bank in support of its objections, either withdraw the notice given under subsection (1) with or without conditions or cancel the licence issued to the licensed commercial bank, and shall notify the bank in writing accordingly.

(4) A licensed commercial bank aggrieved by a decision of the Monetary Board made under subsection (3) to impose conditions on the withdrawal of the notice given under subsection (1) or to cancel its licence, may within fourteen days of the date of receipt of the notification given under that subsection, appeal against such decision to the Court of Appeal.

(5) Until rules are made under Article 136 of the Constitution relating to appeals under this section, the rules made under that Article relating to the hearing of applications by way of revision to the Court of Appeal, shall apply to every appeal made under this section.

(6) The Court of Appeal may on appeal made to it under subsection (4) confirm, reverse, modify or set aside the decision against which the appeal is made and may make any other order as the interests of justice may require.

(7) Without prejudice to subsection (1) the Monetary Board may, where it is satisfied that any licensed commercial bank incorporated outside Sri Lanka has had its licence or authority to operate in the country in which such bank was incorporated cancelled or withdrawn by the appropriate authority or regulatory body of that country, cancel the licence issued to the bank under this Part and shall notify the bank accordingly.

(8) —

(a) A cancellation of a licence of a licensed commercial bank under subsection (3) shall take effect—

(i) where the bank does not prefer an appeal against such cancellation under subsection (4), on the expiration of the period for tendering such appeal; or

(ii) where an appeal has been preferred against such cancellation, on the confirmation of the decision of the Monetary Board by the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, as the case may be;

(b) A cancellation of a licence of a licensed commercial bank under subsection (7), shall take effect from the date of the receipt by the bank of the notification under that subsection.

(9) Where a cancellation of a licence of a licensed commercial bank has taken effect under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of subsection (8), the Monetary Board shall, as soon as possible publish once in the Gazette in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages and once in a Sinhala, Tamil and English daily newspaper circulating in Sri Lanka, a notification of the cancellation of such licence.

[S 9 subs by s 5 of Act 2 of 2005.]

10. Directions of Board where notice cancellation is issued.

(1) Where notice for the cancellation of a licence has been issued by the Monetary Board under subsection (1) of section 9, the Board may give directions to the licensed commercial bank—

(a) prohibiting it from dealing with or disposing of its assets in any manner specified in such direction;

(b) prohibiting it from entering into any transaction or class of transactions so specified; or

(c) prohibiting it from soliciting deposits.

(2) Whereas a licensed commercial bank has failed to comply with the directions issued under subsection (1) the Monetary Board may further direct—

(a) such bank to forthwith suspend its business within Sri Lanka, and, in the case of a bank incorporated or established in Sri Lanka, its business within and outside Sri Lanka; and

(b) the Director of Bank Supervision to take charge of its business and of its books, records and assets, and it shall be lawful for the Director of Bank Supervision to take such steps as are necessary for mm to comply with the directive of the Monetary Board.

(3) Where the Director of Bank Supervision takes charge of all books, records and assets under subsection (2) and
the Monetary Board withdraws the cancellation unconditionally, the Monetary Board shall direct the Director of Bank Supervision to deliver forthwith to such bank the books, records and assets taken into his custody.

(4) Not withstanding anything in any written law for the time being in force, no action or proceedings may be instituted by any licensed commercial bank in any court in respect of any directions given bonafide under this section, and any loss or damage incurred or likely to be incurred or alleged to be incurred by reason of any such direction.

11. Commercial bank to suspend business.

(1) Where a licence of a licensed commercial bank is cancelled, the Monetary Board shall direct the licensed commercial bank forthwith to suspend its business in Sri Lanka and, in the case of a licensed commercial bank incorporated or established within Sri Lanka, the business both within and outside Sri Lanka, and shall also direct the Director of Bank Supervision to take charge of its business and its books, records and assets and to take such steps as may be necessary to prevent the continuance of the business of banking by such bank. It shall be lawful for the Director of Bank Supervision to take such action as he may be deem necessary to comply with the directive of the Monetary Board.

(2) Where the cancellation of a licence of a licensed commercial bank incorporated or established within Sri Lanka by or under any written law for the time being in force, has taken effect under paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section 9, proceedings for the compulsory winding-up of the licensed commercial bank shall commence in accordance with the provisions of Part VIII of this Act.

[S 11(2) subs by s 6 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(3) Where the cancellation of a licence of a licensed commercial bank incorporated outside Sri Lanka has taken effect under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of subsection (8) of section 9, the Director of Bank Supervision shall forthwith inform the head office of such bank to honour the written undertaking submitted under paragraph (a) of subsection (2)
of section 3 and take such steps as may be necessary to enforce such undertaking and to close down the business of the bank in and with respect to Sri Lanka, in accordance with the provisions of Part VIII of this Act.

[S 11(3) subs by s 6 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 9 or any other written law for the time being in force, the Monetary Board may, in any of the circumstances referred to in paragraphs (a) to (g) of subsection (1) of section 9 without proceeding to cancel the licence issued to a licensed commercial bank in terms of section 9, make order which may include any one or more of the following—

(a) directing the licensed commercial bank to suspend its business in Sri Lanka, and in the case of a licensed commercial bank incorporated or established within Sri Lanka, to immediately suspend its business outside Sri Lanka for such period as is specified in such order subject to such conditions as the Monetary Board may stipulate:

Provided that prior to such suspension, written notice shall be served on the licensed commercial bank, of the decision of the Monetary Board along with its reasons therefor, to suspend the business of such bank. The bank shall also be afforded an opportunity of being heard on such matter either orally or in writing, within a period of time which shall not be less than three working days as shall be specified in such notice;

(b) requiring the licensed commercial bank which has been required to suspend business under paragraph (a) to hand over all books, records and assets of that licensed commercial bank to the Director of Bank Supervision;

(c) requiring the licensed commercial bank to forthwith take or refrain from taking any action or to do or refrain from doing any act or thing as the Board may consider necessary in relation to the business of such bank;

(d) appointing a fit and proper person to advise such bank with regard to the proper conduct of the business of such bank;

(e) restraining any Director, manager or controller of the licensed commercial bank from carrying out any function in or in relation to the bank and appointing a fit and proper person to carry out such functions, in or in relation to, such bank;

(f) for the assumption of control of, and for the carrying on of the business of such bank by the Monetary Board or for delegating the control so assumed to another person in order to carry on the business of the bank;

(g) for the re-organisation of such bank, by arranging for the increase of its capital or reconstituting its board of Directors or both such measures;

(h) providing for such arrangements as are necessary for the amalgamation of such bank with any other licensed commercial bank that consents to such amalgamation; and

(i) vesting the business of the licensed commercial bank in another licensed commercial bank which consents to such vesting and for the provisions of Part VIIA to apply to such vesting, as if the licensed commercial bank whose business is vested is a defaulting bank and the licensed commercial bank in which the business is vested, is an acquiring bank:

Provided, however that any measures taken under this section shall not preclude the Monetary Board from subsequently proceeding under section 9 where the Monetary Board is of the opinion that it is in the interest of the banking system to do so.

[S 11(4) subs by s 6 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(5) Notice in writing of any measures taken under subsection (4) shall be given to the licensed commercial bank and to any Director, manager or controller referred to in paragraph (e) of subsection (4) and such measures shall become effective from the date of the receipt of such notification or such other date as may be specified in the notice.

[S 11(5) ins by s 6 of Act 2 of 2005.]

11A. Section 30 of the Monetary Law Act to be applicable.

Nothing contained in sections 9, 10 and 11 of this Act, shall in any way affect the powers conferred on the Monetary Board by section 30 of the Monetary Act.

[S 11A ins by s 8 of Act 33 of 1995.]

12. Approval of the Monetary Board necessary prior to carrying on certain transactions.

(1) The written approval of the Monetary Board given with the concurrence of the Minister, shall be required—

(a) for a licensed commercial bank to open or close a branch, agency or office of such bank, in any part of Sri Lanka or to effect a change in the location of any existing place of business;

(b) for a licensed commercial bank incorporated or established within Sri Lanka by or under any written law to open or close a branch, agency, or office in any place outside Sri Lanka;

(c) for a licensed commercial bank to acquire the business or part of the business of another licensed commercial bank or a licensed specialised bank or of any branch of another licensed commercial bank or of a branch of a licensed specialised bank;

[S 12(1)(c) subs by s 7(1)(i) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(d) for banks incorporated or established outside Sri Lanka to open a representative office or such other place of business within Sri Lanka.

[S 12(1)(e) re-lettered as s 12(1)(d) by s 7(1)(ii) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(e) for the merger or consolidation of a licensed commercial bank or a branch thereof with any other licensed commercial bank or a licensed specialised bank.

[S12(1)(e) ins by s 7 (1)(iii) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(1A) Application for approval of an acquisition under paragraph (c) of subsection (1) or a merger or consolidation under paragraph (e) of subsection (1) shall include—

(a) a statement of the nature of the acquisition or merger or consolidation, as the case may be;

(b) a copy of the proposed agreement, if any, under which the acquisition or merger or consolidation, as the case may be, is to be effected; and

(c) such other particulars and documents as may be prescribed.

[S 12(1A) ins by s 7(2) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(1B) An approval under paragraph (c) of subsection (1), or paragraph (e) of subsection (1), or subsection (1C) shall not be granted, unless the Monetary Board is satisfied that such acquisition or merger or consolidation is in the interest of promotion of a safe, sound and stable banking system, and the fair competition prevailing in the banking industry. When granting approval for an acquisition under subsection (1C), to an individual or a corporate body, the Monetary Board shall, in determining whether such individual or the Directors of such corporate body as the case may be, are fit and proper persons, have regard to the criteria set out in subsection (2) of section 42.

[S 12(1B) ins by s 7(2) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(1C) —

(a) An individual, partnership or corporate body shall not, either directly or indirectly or through a nominee or acting in concert with any other individual, partnership or corporate body, acquire a material interest in a licensed commercial bank incorporated or established within Sri Lanka by or under any written law without the prior written approval of the Monetary Board given with the concurrence of the Minister.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2) of this section, approval under paragraph (a) of this subsection may be granted subject to terms and conditions as the Monetary Board may deem fit.

(c) A licensed commercial bank shall not enter in the register of members of the bank as the holder of shares of the bank, the name of any individual, partnership, corporate body, or nominee who or which has contravened the provisions of paragraph (a).

For the purpose of this subsection—

"acting in concert” means acting pursuant to an understanding (whether formal or informal) to actively co-operate in acquiring a material interest in a licensed commercial bank so as to obtain or consolidate, control of that bank.

"material interest” means the holding of over ten per centum of the issued capital of a licensed commercial bank carrying voting rights.

(2) The approval under this section may be granted subject to such terms and conditions as may be specified by the Monetary Board with the concurrence of the Minister.

[S 12(1C) ins by s 7(2) of Act 2 of 2005.]

13. Withdrawal of variation of approval under section 12.

(1) The Monetary Board may, with the approval of the Minister, on a report by the Director of Bank Supervision, by order made in writing, withdraw the approval or vary the terms and conditions of an approval granted under section 12, including the closure of a branch, agency or office of a licensed commercial bank. Notice of the decision of the Monetary Board shall be communicated by the Director of Bank Supervision to such bank which shall carry out all the obligations and meet all the liabilities of the branch, agency or office.

(2) Any licensed commercial bank to whom notice has been issued under subsection (1) may within thirty days of the date of such order, tender objections in writing to the Monetary Board giving reasons why such approval should not be withdrawn or the terms and conditions varied.

(3) After the expiration of sixty days from the date of the notice and after considering the objections placed before the Board under subsection (2), the Monetary Board shall, with the approval of the Minister—

(a) by order made in writing, cancel the notice of withdrawal or the variation unconditionally; or

(b) by order made in writing and published in the Gazette, confirm the withdrawal or variation with or without modification.

(4) Where the order for the closure has been made under subsection (1), the Monetary Board shall direct the Director of Bank Supervision to take all steps as may appear necessary in the circumstances, to satisfy himself that all persons who have deposited moneys in that bench, agency or office are given the opportunity to withdraw such moneys expeditiously and to ensure that such measures as would safeguard the interest of such depositors are taken. It shall be lawful for the Director of Bank Supervision to take such steps accordingly.

13A. Mobile Banking Units.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions contained in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 12, the Deputy Governor may on, guidelines issued by the Monetary Board for such purpose, grant approval for the establishment of Mobile Banking Units, subject to such terms and conditions as he may determine, from time to time.

(2) The Deputy Governor may on a report of Director of Bank Supervision, by order made in writing withdraw the approval granted under subsection (1) or vary the terms and conditions of such approval, and notice of the decision shall be communicated to the relevant licensed commercial bank.

[S 13A ins by s 9 of Act 33 of 1995.]

14. Compliance of persons and banks suspected of carrying on banking business.

(1) Where the Governor of the Central Bank has reasonable grounds to believe that any persons is carrying on banking business in contravention of the provisions of this Act, the Governor may direct the Director of Bank Supervision or any other officer of the Central Bank to examine the books, accounts and records of such person for the purpose of ascertaining whether such person has contravened, or is contravening, any of the provisions of this Act.

[S 14(1) subs by s 8 of Act 2 of 2005.]

(2) The Director of Bank Supervision or such other officer so authorised by the Governor in terms of
subsection (1) may require such person or the bank to furnish to him such information or to produce for inspection any books, minutes, accounts, cash, securities, vouchers, other documents and records as he may consider necessary to obtain for the purpose of such examination, and it shall be the duty of such person or bank to furnish such information and to submit to such officer for examination such books, minutes, accounts, cash, securities, vouchers, other documents and records, as the case may be, when so required.

(3) Any person who fails to furnish such information or to produce any books, minutes, accounts, cash, securities, vouchers, other documents and records when required to do so under subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(4) Any refusal by any person or commercial bank to furnish such information or to submit such books, minutes, accounts, cash, securities, vouchers, other documents and records in contravention of the provisions of subsection (2) shall be prima facie evidence of such person or bank carrying on banking business without a licence.

14A. Memorandum and Articles to be altered with approval.

A licensed commercial bank which is a company as defined in section 449 of the Companies Act, No. 17 of 1982, shall not alter its Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association, without the prior written approval of the Monetary Board.

[S 14A ins by s 10 of Act 33 of 1995.]

15. Provisions of this Part not to apply to the Monetary Board or Central Bank.

The provisions of this Part shall not be construed to mean that a licence under section 5, or approval under section 12, shall be required for the Monetary Board or the Central Bank to exercise, perform or discharge the powers, duties or functions, in respect of banking business conferred on, or imposed on, or assigned to, the Monetary Board under the Monetary Law Act or any written law.

PART II

Banking Names and Descriptions

16. Restriction on use of certain names and descriptions.

(1) No company other than a licensed commercial bank or a licensed specialised bank shall, except with the prior written approval of the Monetary Board, use as part of its name or its description any of the words "bank”, "banker” or "banking”, or any of its derivatives or its transliterations, or their equivalent in any other language and no licensed commercial bank or a licensed specialised bank shall carry on business in Sri Lanka unless it uses as part of its name at least one of such words:

Provided however, a licensed commercial bank or a licensed specialised bank incorporated outside Sri Lanka which does not have the word "bank”, "banker” or "banking” in any language in its name may carry on business in Sri Lanka notwithstanding the omission of these words in its name;

[S 16(1) subs by s 9(1) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(2) No firm, individual or group of individuals, shall, except with the prior written approval of the Monetary Board, for the purpose of carrying on any business, use as part of its or his name or description any of the words "bank”, "banker” or "banking” or any of its derivatives, or its transliterations, or their equivalent in any other language.

[S 16(2) am by s 11 of Act 33 of 1995.]

(3) Nothing in this section shall apply—

(a) to a subsidiary of a licensed commercial bank or of a licensed specialised bank established in accordance with the provisions of this Act or any directions given hereunder;

(b) to any association of licensed commercial banks or licensed specialised banks formed for the protection of their interests;

(c) to a trade union registered under the Trade Union Ordinance, which is an association or combination of workers who are employees of a banking institution within the meaning of section 127 of the Monetary Law Act, or of the Central Bank or of a licensed specialised bank;

(d) to an agency, institution, person or body of persons which is a banking institution in terms of paragraph (b) or paragraph (d) of the definition of the expression "banking institution” in section 127 of the Monetary Law Act;

(e) to the use of the words in the manner restricted under subsection (1) for the purpose of incorporating or changing the name of a company during the period of validity of a letter of Provisional Approval issued under section 3 or section 76B;

(f) to the representative office of a commercial bank incorporated or established outside Sri Lanka.

[S 16(3) subs by s 9(2) of Act 2 of 2005.]

17. Licensed commercial bank not to have as its subsidiary a company which is not a licensed commercial bank.

(1) A licensed commercial bank incorporated or established in Sri Lanka shall not have as its subsidiary a company which is not a licensed commercial bank:

Provided however, such bank may, with the written permission of the Monetary Board, have a subsidiary which carries on any one or more of the following businesses—

[S 17(1) proviso am by s 12 of Act 33 of 1995.]

(a) carries on the business of providing training in any one of the subjects relating to banking, accountancy, valuation, project appraisal and credit appraisal;

[S 17(1) proviso para (a) am by s 12(2) of Act 33 of 1995.]

(b) carries on the business of engaging in hire purchase transactions;

[S 17(1)proviso para (b) am by s 12(2) of Act 33 of 1995.]

(c) carries on the business of providing medium and long term credit for development;

[S 17(1) proviso para (c) am by s 12(2) of Act 33 of 1995.]

(d) carries on the business of factory leasing and warehousing;

[S 17(1) proviso para (d) am by s 12(2) of Act 33 of 1995.]

(e) carries on the business of providing management consultancy services;

[S 17(1)(e) proviso para (e) am by s 12(2) of Act 33 of 1995.]

(f) becomes the subsidiary only by reason of a licensed commercial bank having to acquire the share of a company consequent to such licensed commercial bank capitalising the capital and the interest accrued thereon, and which is unpaid by the company to the bank, on loans granted by the licensed commercial bank;

(g) carries on any form of business which in the opinion of the Monetary Board is not Inconsistent with the business of banking and the provision of finance;

[S 17(1) proviso para (g) subs by s 12 of Act 33 of 1995.]

Provided, further that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a subsidiary formed before the appointed date by any licensed commercial bank incorporated or established in Sri Lanka.

(2) A licensed commercial bank shall not accord to any of its subsidiary companies, treatment which is more favorable than the treatment accorded to other constituents of the bank, carrying on the same business as any such subsidiary company.

(3) For the purposes of this Act a company shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section, be deemed to be a subsidiary of another if, and only if—

(i) that other company holds more than half in nominal value of its equity share capital; or

(ii) that other company is a shareholder of it and controls the composition, of its board of Directors; or

(iii) the first-mentioned company is a subsidiary of any company which is that other's subsidiary.

(4) In determining whether one company is a subsidiary of another—

(a) any shares held or power exercisable by that other in a fiduciary capacity shall be treated as not held or exercisable by it;

(b) subject to the provisions of paragraphs (c) and (d) any shares held or power exercisable:

(i) by any person as a nominee for that other except where that other is concerned only in a fiduciary capacity; or

(ii) by, or by a nominee for a subsidiary of that other, not being a subsidiary which is concerned only in a fiduciary capacity,

shall be treated as held or exercisable by that other;

(c) any shares held or power exercisable by any person by virtue of the provisions of any debentures of the first mentioned company or of a trust deed for securing the issue of such debentures shall be disregarded;

(d) any shares held or power exercisable by, or by a nominee of, that other or its subsidiary (not being held or exercisable as referred to in paragraph (c)) shall be treated as not held or exercisable by that other, if the ordinary business of that other or its subsidiary, as the case may be, includes the lending of money, and the shares are held or power is exercisable as aforesaid by way of security, only for the purposes of a transaction entered into in the ordinary course of that business.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, a company shall be deemed to be another's holding company if, and only if, that other is its subsidiary.

(6) In this Part the expression "equity share capital” in relation to a company, means its issued share capital excluding any part thereof which, neither in respect of dividends nor as respects capital, carries any right to participate beyond a specified amount in a distribution.

17A. Purchase of shares fifty percent or less by a licensed commercial bank.

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), a licensed commercial bank shall not acquire or hold shares in any company, and—

(a) any share-holding acquired by such bank shall not be in excess of such percentage of its capital funds as the Monetary Board may determine from time to time; and

(b) the aggregate amount invested in the shares of listed public companies (excluding companies which are subsidiaries of the bank) shall not exceed, such percentage of its capital funds as may be determined from time to time by the Monetary Board:

Provided however a licensed commercial bank may, without exceeding the limit specified above, acquire shares in a public company other than a listed company, if such acquisition becomes necessary for the purpose of rehabilitating such company to make it financially viable.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1), shall not apply to—

(a) investment in a subsidiary company of such bank which is a licensed commercial bank;

(b) investments in any other subsidiary company of the bank acquired with the approval of the Monetary Board;

(c) any shareholding which the bank might acquire in the course of the satisfaction of any debt due to such bank, or as a consequence of the under writting of a share issue:

Provided that where as a result of the acquisition of these shares the total investment of the bank exceeds the percentage of capital funds as determined by the Monetary Board under subsection (1), the Bank shall dispose of such excess shares within two years or such longer period as may be determined by the Monetary Board, of the date of such acquisition;

(d) any acquisition or holding of shares in any company which in the opinion of the Monetary Board is established for the advancement and promotion of human resources development and technological development in the banking and financial sectors;

[S 17A(2)(d) am by s 10(1) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(e) investments authorised by the Monetary Board.

[S 17A(2)(e) ins by s 10(2) of Act 2 of 2005.]

(3) For the purpose of this section "listed public company” means any public company which has its securities listed or quoted in a stock exchange licensed under the Securities and Exchange Commission Act, No. 37 of 1987.

[S 17A ins by s 13 of Act 33 of 1995.]

PART III

Capital Requirements, Reserve Funds and Maintenance of Liquid Assets

18. Compliance with provisions of this Part essential.

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other written law no licensed commercial bank shall on or after the appointed date, commence or carry on business in Sri Lanka unless it complies with all the requirements specified in this Part.

19. Capital.

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3), every licensed commercial bank—

(a) which has been issued with a licence prior to the date of commencement of this section, shall at all times maintain an equality capital in an amount not less than twenty-five million rupees;

(b) which has been issued with a licence after the date of commencement of this shall at all times maintain an equity capital in an amount not less than one hundred million rupees at sum other amount as the Monetary Board may, having regard to the viability and stability of the banking system and the interest of the national economy and with the concurrence of the Minister, determine from time to time.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.


Recent Updates

NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 6 OF 2017


ECONOMIC SERVICE CHARGE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 7 OF 2017


CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 8 OF 2017


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015