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?
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:
Q: What advice do you have for fledgling compliance professionals?
My advice would be:
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.
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