With the key drivers, Moody’s assesses the operating environment as stable; asset risk as deteriorating; capital as stable; profitability and efficiency as stable; funding and liquidity as stable; and government support as deteriorating.Moody’s notes that capital has strengthened as the banks successfully raised capital and reduced cash dividends to comply with their Basel III requirements. While the transition to SLFRS 9 will substantially increase loan provisions, the capital impact is likely to be limited as the regulator allows provisions to be staggered over a prescribed period. Profitability supported by interest income growth will offset the increase in credit costs. Moody’s Investors Service says that the outlook for Sri Lanka’s banking system is negative, as the economy remains weak and asset quality is deteriorating.“The economy will only exhibit a modest rebound as the government’s high debt burden and reliance on foreign borrowings continue to limit public investment and pose the risk of capital outflows,” says Tengfu Li, a Moody’s Analyst. “Credit growth was very high over the last two years, with the credit multiplier (credit growth/GDP growth) peaking at more than 2.5 times. As loans disbursed over this period begin to mature, asset quality will deteriorate, and higher borrowing costs due to tighter monetary policy implemented earlier will add to the debt burden of corporates,” says Li. Moody’s conclusions are contained in its just-released “Banking System Outlook: Sri Lankan banks, Macroeconomic risks and deteriorating asset quality drive negative outlook”. The outlook expresses Moody’s expectation of how bank creditworthiness will evolve in this system over the next 12 to 18 months. Funding pressure on the banks will improve with the recent slowdown in loan growth. Sri Lankan banks hold sizeable liquid assets to cover their liquidity needs and movements in deposits, thereby providing adequate buffer.Last but not least, a high debt burden and contingent liabilities relating to state-owned enterprises will continue to limit the government’s capacity to support the banks. (Colombo Gazette)
Although he said he could not comment specifically on either case, he added: “But I will say this: where serious allegations are proven against members of the Army including allegations of a violent or sexual nature, it demonstrates indiscipline that is wildly at odds with the values and standards that represent the fabric of not just our army but the nation’s army, the British Army.”Not only is it downright unacceptable, it is illegal and it stands in stark contrast with everything the British Army represents.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Last week, the Army was criticised after a video emerged showing soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan, using a picture of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, for target practice.The MoD launched an investigation into the conduct of the personnel from 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, shown in the film.Meanwhile, Sir Mark said: “All these allegations are being taken very seriously by the military chain of command and are now under active investigation by the police, which is exactly as it should be and what I expect.” The head of the British Army has issued a stark warning to troops that he will not tolerate violent or sexual criminal behaviour after “a series of exceptionally serious allegations” were made against soldiers.In an outspoken broadcast, Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, said criminality among Servicemen is “downright unacceptable” and “damaged the reputation” of the British Army.The Ministry of Defence (MoD) posted his film online after it emerged six soldiers were arrested by military police over allegations of a sexual assault on a 17-year-old female soldier.It was alleged that the woman awoke in her room to find the soldiers, members of a sports club who had been drinking, in her room.The arrests prompted Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, to launch a review into bullying and harassment across the Armed Forces. He said British soldiers are known for “stoicism, a sense of honour and duty, courage, a sense of humour and an honest sense of decency”.Explaining how servicemen and servicewomen need to behave to a “higher level” as they are responsible for defending the nation, he added: “Any behaviour that falls short of that high standard we cannot and will not tolerate.”He concluded: “This hasn’t been a good week for the Army. It has damaged our reputation which is exceptionally hard earned and includes the sacrifice of our friends on the battlefield.”We all belong to a national institution, something the country is proud of and rightly so – the best of British. Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson said he will launch a review into bullying and harassment Credit:Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media “And we are proud custodians of that reputation, which needs all of us – each and every one of us – to do better.”The woman allegedly attacked is understood to have been offered full support and counselling.It is believed five of the soldiers were arrested by military police on March 29 and then a sixth arrest on April 1. The men have been released while inquiries continue. The name of the unit where the alleged attack took place has not been revealed for legal reasons.Asked about the latest allegations, Mr Williamson said: “There is no place for these kind of actions in the military and, if true, those involved must face the full force of the law.”Mr Williamson is due to meet in Whitehall a senior military officer and senior civil servant he has appointed to conduct the review.They will draw up a timetable and establish the full terms of reference to be covered.