Why would Bank of Ceylon want to open branches in Seychelles & Solomon Islands? Why does Mihin Air fly to Seychelles?
Despite their stated Vision of “Bankers to the nation” and the Mission – “Extending banking service to larger society as a beneficial beacon in the country” it’s not so difficult to understand which ‘nation’ or the ‘section’ of the Sri Lankan society Bank of Ceylon is trying to serve with their recent opening of a branch in Seychelles.
With a population of 90,024 and rated as the highest income inequality country in the world, Seychelles has less than 100 Sri Lankans living there. Seychelles is also considered as the money laundering base in Africa and a haven for dirty money! There have been several investigations on reported money laundering cases in Seychelles including by the former Ukrainian President. Anyone can verify these facts with a bit of internet research.
Bank of Ceylon is also looking at opening a branch in Solomon Islands, which has a population of 549,598 and may not have a single Sri Lankan among them. The World Bank says Solomon Islands, one of the poorest countries in the Pacific, had a GDP per capita of US$ 2,068 in 2013, compared to US$ 9,736 of Sri Lanka. It’s no mean a country to engage in any profitable banking business. However with its well established offshore financial services / tax-heaven banking systems, Solomon Islands is a popular destination for many Sri Lankan politicians!
Ask yourselves why Bank of Ceylon is opening branches in countries that have none or paltry Sri Lankan population? Wouldn’t it serve a better good if branches are opened in countries from where the bulk of Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange US$ 7 Billion per year is earned, especially in the Middle-East? It would be most appropriate now for Bank of Ceylon to add “Assisting predatory politicians to conceal their masses of illegally gotten money” to its Mission statement.
Why does Mihin Air Fly to Seychelles? The next would be that they will fly to Solomon Islands as well. Central Bank / other banks regularly repatriate foreign currency notes in bulk through air(lines) as a part of their normal business. It doesn’t have to be legitimate but with absolute power and control, so can they!