The Association of Professional Bankers – Sri Lanka (APB), in line with its primary objective, functions as a forum that brings bankers together, for continuous professional development and networking. This year too, the Research, Education and Development Committee (REDC) of the APB had organised a Regional Forum in Jaffna, including a series of events.
The Forum in Jaffna was held on Friday 18 September, for the second time within two years. It included a chain of knowledge-sharing and networking activities: An inter-bank quiz competition, donation of books to the Jaffna Public library, a public lecture on a timely topic by a veteran speaker and a fellowship and dinner for the bankers in Jaffna. The activities gave a wonderful opportunity for the professional bankers in the North to update their knowledge and network with their other banking colleagues. Highlights of the activities are as follows:
Public Lecture on ‘Northern Development and the Role of Banks’
An insightful, thought-provoking public lecture on ‘Northern Development and the Role of Banks’ was presented by a veteran speaker, retired Professor, M. Sinnathamby from the University of Jaffna. The event was held on Friday 18, September evening, at the Auditorium, HNB Green Building in Jaffna, and was well-attended by bankers, other professionals and special invitees from Jaffna. The presenter highlighted the need of development of employability skills among youngsters, inculcating work ethics among employees, and developing an entrepreneurial culture, among his many valuable insights as expectations towards future Northern Region development.
He further discussed the importance of the banks’ role in the region development, by quoting ‘Your money, my knowledge’, to emphasise the critical role the banks play in development. The session was followed by fellowship and dinner.
Inter-bank quiz competition
The quiz competition was held on Friday 18 September, at the Banquet Hall of the HNB Green Building, Jaffna and all nine banks in Jaffna participated at this competition. 16 teams with five members in each bank team participated at the quiz. The quiz was held in four rounds, covering areas such as Branch Banking Operations, Laws and Regulations Relating to Banking, Current Affairs and General Knowledge, and Sports and Entertainment. Parama Dharmawardene, a member of the Advisory Council APB, functioned as the Quiz Master.
The winners, Hatton National Bank ‘B’ team was awarded the ‘R. Theagarajah Challenge Trophy’. The First Runner-Up, Commercial Bank ‘B’ team was awarded the ‘R. Nadarajah Challenge Trophy’. The Second Runner-Up, Bank of Ceylon ‘A’ team awarded the ‘A. Kathiravelupillai Challenge Trophy’. All members of these three teams were awarded certificates and medals. The Quiz competition gave the bankers in the North an opportunity to share their knowledge and enhance awareness of the subject matter, while networking with other bankers.
Donation of books to the Jaffna Public Library
A stock of valuable books on Banking and Finance was donated to the Jaffna Public Library on Friday 18 September, for the benefit of the readers from the North and other areas. The books were handed over to the librarian at the Jaffna Public Library, by APB Vice President Senerath Bandara, together with APB Council members from Colombo. This event was formally recognised before the Public Lecture, by APB Assistant Secretary Aruna Fernando. The donation of books too was held for the second year and would continue on a regular basis. Hence, APB reiterated the need to allocate a special section for banking, at the Jaffna Public Library. This would be helpful to attract and motivate the readers from the North, to read and enhance their knowledge on Banking and Finance subjects.
Fellowship and dinner for bankers
The above vibrant, professional activities of the ‘APB Jaffna Forum’ came to an end with the APB hosting the special invitees, the senior bankers and the quiz participants to fellowship and dinner, at the TILKO Jaffna City Hotel. The fellowship was attended by about 100 guests and accepted very positively as an excellent opportunity to network among the bankers in the North.
‘The APB Jaffna Forum 2015’ was a great success, according to the many positive comments received from the senior banking community in Jaffna and the special invitees. Senior officials from the APB Council from Colombo participated and coordinated the events. APB deeply appreciates the assistance given by the sponsoring banks, all the Regional Managers and Branch Managers of banks in Jaffna, and the participants for making the ‘APB Jaffna Forum 2015’ a roaring success.