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Welcoming the members to the 27th annual general meeting of the Association of Professional Bankers, Mrs Shashi Kandambi Jassim, President of the APB, said:

Ms. Shashi Kandambi Jassim 

As you know the APB has performed remarkably well, from its inception, in carrying out its declared mission which bears repetition and reminding ourselves of, every time we contemplate any new activity or plan a new publication.

Our mission requires us to sustain the highest standards of professionalism and integrity among bankers, to advance the public interest and to influence the achievement of the highest ethical standards and governance in the banking industry.

We can be proud that we belong to such a responsible and respected organization.

So first of all I do thank our members for electing me as the president of the association this year. For me, it is a great honour and privilege that my fellow professional bankers have placed such confidence in me.

I must also acknowledge the guidance and assistance I have always received from my predecessors, and other office­bearers, in carrying out the work of the association.I remember with gratitude Mr. Sisira Herath who brought me in to the APB and the Senior members of APB, Mr. Pillai & Mr. Dharmawardena who have always given their guidance and shared their wisdom of experience, and Miss. Nalini , a lady past president who held office during my association with the APB, who has been a source of great encouragement at all time.Thank you.

I can say that I have been faithful to the banking profession ever since I started working shortly after leaving school, because I never harboured aspirations outside the banking industry, or even my first and present employer ­ Sampath Bank. This is largely due to the fact that I had some wonderful colleagues – seniors , peers and juniors and I have benefited enormously from the friendly guidance of my seniors and the loyal friendship of my fellow officers.

I like to acknowledge my first Manager – Mr.Ganga Kariawasam from whom I learnt my ABC of Banking and who set me on my career path.

I must specially mention with immense gratitude, my Managing Director – Mr. Aravinda Perera, himself a Past President of the APB & Member of the Advisory Council – who has been a guiding light and mentor in my professional life and who inspired and supported me to reach this high office.

For my part I promise that I shall endeavour to serve the association with utmost commitment and dedication, and invite all of you to extend your fullest cooperation to us in the association’s activities.

The Banking industry today is facing many challenges in this fast changing world where digitalization is the ‘buzz word’ ! Banks are compelled to race with ‘non banks’ to deliver innovative payment solutions to customers across an evolving environment.It has become our task for sheer survival to re­think and re­design the basic operating model of our industry.

We as an Association, will commit ourselves to providing awareness and knowledge and even arrange our fellow bankers from developed financial markets to share their experiences with our membership.

2016, has its own significance to us as Bankers with the expected implementation of BASEL III standards. We plan to have some educational or knowledge sharing sessions in this regard as we go along this year.

It so happens that we as bankers occupy a place in society from which we can observe the consequences of economic policies and implementation measures as they occur.

As the new year dawned there were many fears and uncertainties in the world economic environment. The imminent rate hike, oil prices, state of the economy in China and their impact on the global economy including ours. Many of these are factors which are often not in our control. When they happen all we do is try to minimise the ill effects and if possible turn them to our advantage.

Looking at our own country, one of the catalysts of economic growth is financial inclusion right to the bottom of the pyramid of the social structure. I believe that we Bankers as responsible citizens of this country have a moral obligation to ensure that the Banking sector works actively to facilitate this.

Whilst addressing and working on all these matters, we as an association will continue this year to provide a networking and social platform for our membership, a must to maintain a healthy work – life balance !

Finally, I like to assure all of you that the council & I will work towards providing you with activities, programmes , publications and events to advance our APB to the next level , and look forward to your support in this journey !

Thank you.

Ms. Shashi Kandambi Jassim
President - Association of Professional Bankers - Sri Lanka

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