Meet an ICA Member: Dilani Sooriyaarachchi

Dilani Sooriyaarachchi, FICA
Head of Compliance, Seylan Bank

Due to the increasing number of people looking to move careers or begin a career in compliance, anti-money laundering and financial crime prevention, we’ve invited some of our members to share their experiences to help our students, practitioners and other like-minded professionals understand the journey and direction they could take throughout their career.

Lets find out more...

Q: How long have you worked in compliance for? What has changed since you first started to now?

This is my 8th consecutive year in the field of compliance. I have observed a positive improvement in the top management attitude towards compliance function, while the regulator has also been more proactive since I commenced my career in compliance.  


Q: How did you land your first role; was it chance or a calling?

 It’s more appropriate to say that it was a combination. Having worked for 10 years in the legal department, I was looking for a change as I did not see any further career progression there. The compliance manager of the bank suddenly resigned due to a better job opportunity, so I immediately applied for the vacancy created and got selected via a formal process.


Q: What do you find enjoyable about your role? What are the challenges?

I enjoy:

  • The evolving nature of the compliance function
  • Analysing situations and identifying issues/areas for improvement
  • Finding solutions for problems.

The main challenge is to change the compliance landscape from a “bolt on” situation to “built in” culture.


Q: What attributes do you think are important for a career in compliance?

I think the most important attributes are:

  • Willingness to be a lifelong student
  • Ability to be a strong team player
  • Ability to see the good in any situation.


Q: What advice do you have for fledgling compliance professionals?

My advice would be:

  • Complete your studies well and learn the subject. It’s not possible to build the career without a proper foundation
  • Keep updated of what’s happening in the environment
  • Be a good listener in your activities.


Q: What drove you to ICA as an individual and to continue to be a member?

When I moved to the compliance department from the legal department I had no clue on the subject matter and badly needed to learn about compliance. No sooner had I joined compliance, I got to know about the ICA diploma in GRC scheduled to commence in a few weeks’ time for the first time in Sri Lanka and the program was also recommended by the central bank/regulator.

My long term plan when moving to compliance was to be the compliance officer of the bank one day and I knew I would not be able to do so without a valid professional qualification. Having learned the ABC of compliance through the ICA diploma, which I successfully completed with a distinction pass, I continued to learn more about compliance as I gradually grew in my position.

Application of my learning from the ICA diploma in my day to day work built more confidence in me and I continued to follow the PPD in GRC, which is the highest level of ICA studies and now I proudly use the title FICA after my name.

I’m keen to continue my relationship with ICA as a member, as it permits me to grow bigger.

Meet other ICA members here:

Sarah Troy, MLRO & Compliance Officer

Adam Rogerson FICA, Compliance Manager

Clare Walker FICA, Compliance Quality Manager

Cyril Esterhuysen FICA, Money Laundering Reporting Officer

Guy Hardill, Int.Dip(Comp); Int.Dip (FinCrime); FICA, Compliance Associate

Kensley McDowall FICA, Managing Director

Louis Parris FICA, Financial Consultant

Kevin Parkinson FICA, Director of Advisory Services

Want to get involved in our 'Meet a Member' campaign?

We’d love to feature you in our ICA Insight series, and in inCOMPLIANCE®! Getting involved is a fantastic way to raise your profile within the ICA and an opportunity to interact with your fellow members, as well as those interested in entering the field.

Find out more and let us know you are interested by emailing