Smoke Signals

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is spearheading a nationwide census to smoke out some 20,000 unregulated financial entities, a top official said Friday. Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is spearheading a nationwide census to smoke out some 20,000 unregulated financial entities, a top official said Friday. Central Bank’s Deputy Governor Ranee Jayamaha says unlicensed deposit taking institutions currently account for less than five percent of Sri Lanka’s financial sector.

“We estimate that there are some 20,000 institutions scattered islandwide including 700 registered with the Social Service Dept., 4,000 cooperative societies banking units and several non-governmental organisations doing micro finance work,” Jayamaha told journalists on Friday.

Manila based Asian Development Bank (ADB) is bankrolling the initiative which includes an audit to check out the financial viability of such footloose outlets.

“Once the audit is done, we will decide on which institutions should be regulated in the future,” she said.

Sri Lanka currently has 22 commercial banks and 14 specialised banks. The Central Bank also regulates primary dealers, finance and leasing