Seated from left: Union Bank of Colombo Senior Manager – Trade Operations Kanchana De Silva (Assistant Treasurer), Manjula Gunawardana (NDB Bank), People’s Bank Assistant General Manager – Trade Finance A.S.M.W. Kumarasiri (Immediate Past President), Nations Trust Bank Manager – Trade and Supply Chain Finance Kasun Muthukuda (Treasurer), Bank of Ceylon Assistant General Manager – Trade Services Rochelle Fernando (Senior Vice President), Commercial Bank of Ceylon Chief Manager – Exports Lawrian Somanader (President), Hatton National Bank Manager Operations – Centralised Trade Processing Shyam De Silva (Vice President), DFCC Bank Assistant Vice President – Correspondent Banking and Remittances K.R. Naguleswaran (Secretary-General), Gaya Manamperi (formerly at Sampath Bank), and Pan Asia Banking Corporation Senior Manager – Trade Services Indika Liyanage (Assistant Secretary)
Standing from left: Thilanke Weerasinghe (HSBC), Eranda Weerakoon (Doha Bank), Dilan Wijegoonawardena (Seylan Bank), Tharinda Amarasinghe (Sampath Bank), Niranjan Dabare (Deutsche Bank AG), Saroja Pathirana (Sampath Bank), Malithi Maheeka (Cargills Bank), Shehani Peter (Standard Chartered Bank), Neil Handapangoda (Citibank N.A.), K.K. Susantha (Bank of Ceylon), and Susantha Weerasinghe (People’s Bank)
The Trade Finance Association of Bankers (TFAB) held its 24th Annual General Meeting in April, at the Rainbow Room, Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo, under strict health guidelines owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TFAB, which was formed in the year 1997, has been actively engaged in imparting knowledge and the required skills to its members who are trade practitioners by conducting seminars, lectures, discussions, workshops, trade educational tours, and other activities on a wide range of topics relating to international trade with the assistance of senior bankers who have mastered the subject in our local banks and other resource persons from various trade-related stakeholders. The premium event of TFAB is Interbank Trade Finance Quiz and Social, which promotes trade knowledge and networking among its members.
TFAB provides an environment for trade practitioners representing all banks to facilitate the exchange of views relating to trade, promote consistency in trade finance practices and create the required skill set in the industry in supporting Trade. The Membership comprises almost all commercial banks operating in Sri Lanka. The office-bearers of the Association from various banks are elected every year at its AGM. It is really fortunate to see some experienced and knowledgeable prominent veterans in the field of trade finance willingly sharing their knowledge and experience with new trade practitioners in all banks. The Association is backed by an Advisory Committee comprising of four senior bankers and past TFAB Presidents: TFAB Inaugural President and Bank of Ceylon former DGM - International A. Kathiravelupillai; Trade of Union Bank of Colombo PLC former Head Michael Peiris, Hatton National Bank PLC Former AGM – International Nilam Jumat, and Deutsche Bank former Director, Head Global Subsidiary Coverage, Head of Trade and Cash Management Sales Thushy David, with extensive experience in the international banking business.
Incumbent President Lawrian Somanader – Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC Chief Manager - Exports, was unanimously elected as the President of the Association. He holds a Master of Business Administration from UK. He possesses the ICC’s advanced trade finance qualification – Certified Trade Finance Professional (CTFP). He is also a member of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka. He counts over 30 years of banking experience that includes 27 years in International Trade-related Services, Imports, and Exports at Commercial Bank of Ceylon. He also had the opportunity of working at the Corporate Credit banking division and served at a branch during his banking career. Somanader had previously held many responsible positions in the TFAB, such as the Senior Vice President and the Treasurer.
Following members were elected as office-bearers of the TFAB for the year 2021/2022 during the Annual General Meeting.
- President: Commercial Bank of Ceylon Chief Manager - Exports Lawrian Somanader;
- Senior Vice President: Bank of Ceylon Assistant General Manager - Trade Services Rochelle Fernando;
- Vice President: Hatton National Bank Manager Operations - Centralised Trade Processing Shyam De Silva;
- Secretary-General: DFCC Bank Assistant Vice President - Correspondent Banking and Remittances K.R. Naguleswaran
- Treasurer: Nations Trust Bank Manager - Trade and Supply Chain Finance Kasun Muthukuda;
- Assistant Secretary: Pan Asia Banking Corporation Senior Manager - Trade Services Indika Liyanage;
- Assistant Treasurer: Union Bank of Colombo Senior Manager - Trade Operations Kanchana De Silva;
- Council Members: Gaya Manamperi (formerly at Sampath Bank), Manjula Gunawardana (NDB Bank), Neil Handapangoda (Citibank N.A.), Susantha Weerasinghe (People’s Bank), Tharinda Amarasinghe (Sampath Bank), Niranjan Dabare (Deutsche Bank AG), K. K. Susantha (Bank of Ceylon), Saroja Pathirana (Sampath Bank), Thilanke Weerasinghe (The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), Dilan Wijegoonawardena (Seylan Bank), Shehani Peter (Standard Chartered Bank), Malithi Maheeka (Cargills Bank), and Eranda Weerakoon (Doha Bank);
- Immediate Past President: People’s Bank Assistant General Manager - Trade Finance A. S. M. W. Kumarasiri
The newly appointed President, in his speech, pointed out the role played by the TFAB to the banking industry during its last 24 years of existence. He further stated that the knowledge imparted by TFAB by way of trade seminars, workshops, quiz competitions, trainings and knowledge forums to its membership was commendable. He also emphasised the value of the TFAB newsletter as a knowledge-sharing source, and requested the membership to contribute more articles in order to enhance the number of publications.
He also spoke about such challenges with resilience that the world is going through since 2020, and how the banking industry is taking up that challenge in line with changing regulatory requirements.
Finally, he thanked the previous presidents for their leadership and thanked the membership for electing him to steer the association and pledged his commitment towards the betterment of TFAB.
The Secretary-General, in his address, thanked the membership for the election of the present office-bearers and the council, who will steer the objectives of the TFAB in 2021/2022.