Harris to lead Cargills’ banking venture

Friday, 30 September 2011 05:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Gives quit notice as MD at Sampath Bank, to take up new post from 1 January

Proven industry leader Harris Premaratane is to head the country’s newest entrant to the financial services sector, Cargills Agriculture and Commercial Bank, from 1 January 2012.

The move follows Premaratne giving quit notice to Sampath Bank yesterday from his current post as Managing Director by end this year.

Daily FT learns Premaratne will be the Managing Director and CEO of Cargills Agriculture and Commercial Bank, which early this month received provisional approval from the Central Bank.

Its promoters are diversified blue chip CT Holdings Plc and FMCG specialist Cargills (Ceylon) Plc. The approval is subject to fulfilling routine terms and conditions, with which the promoters are currently busy.

Premaratne joined Sampath Bank as CEO designate in October 2008 and was inducted to the Board in November the same year, before being appointed Managing Director from January this year.

Some industry analysts have credited the recent revival in Sampath Bank to the leadership of Premaratne, who had previously had a long career at the country’s biggest private sector bank, Commercial.

An Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, London, Premaratne was a Senior Deputy General Manager Corporate Banking at Commercial Bank Plc when he retired. He has 42 years of overall banking experience with expertise in the areas of trade services, trade finance, corporate credit, corporate finance, recoveries and correspondent relations.

He was a Director of the Sri Lanka Credit Information Bureau and was the Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association.

Premaratne is the present Chairman of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (Guarantee) Ltd. and Chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Sri Lanka (Guarantee) Ltd. He is a Director of the Asiri Hospital Group of Companies. He also held the position of Director of Softlogic Group of Companies.