In a statement, the BSP said the Monetary Board approved the imposition of sanctions on Metrobank that ranged from reprimand to suspension of directors and officers “who failed to perform adequate oversight and/or have been complacent/remiss of their duties and responsibilities.” Google Streetview, File

BSP sanctions Metrobank over P1.75-B internal fraud
(Philstar.com) - November 28, 2017 - 3:11am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:28 a.m.) — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Tuesday announced a string of sanctions slapped on Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. over the massive internal fraud reported in July this year that cost the country’s second largest bank P1.75 billion.

In a statement, the BSP said the Monetary Board approved the imposition of sanctions on Metrobank that ranged from reprimand to suspension of directors and officers “who failed to perform adequate oversight and/or have been complacent/remiss of their duties and responsibilities.”

The BSP said the MB took into consideration the bank’s “strong financial condition and immediate corrective actions to contain further financial damage” in determining the appropriate sanctions.

“MBTC was required to allocate approximately P4.45 billion of its capital on a consolidated basis to cover for higher operational risk,” the central bank said.

“The requirement is subject to periodic review and would be lifted when the Bank is determined to have put in place adequate risk control measures to address the weaknesses noted,” it added.

‘Business as usual’

Metrobank said in a separate statement issued at the Philippine Stock Exchange that it “acknowledges” the examination concluded by the BSP on the internal fraud case.
 
It also reiterated its assurance to the public that no customer was affected and that the case was an isolated incident.
 
"The bank appreciates the BSP’s affirmation of MBTC’s strong financial condition, safety and soundness. The board and senior management accept accountability and command responsibility for the incident and commits to implementing the directives," it said.
 
“MBTC assures the public that bank operations remain business as usual,” it added.
 
Last August, Metrobank filed charges of qualified theft through the falsification of commercial documents as well as violation of the General Banking Law before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office against Metrobank’s corporate service management division head and account service manager Ma. Victoria Lopez.

Other respondents in the complaint were Hubert Co and Sue Sai.

READ: Metrobank sues top exec, 2 others for fraud

Lopez is currently detained at the National Bureau of Investigation after she was arrested in an entrapment operation. Both Co and Sai are at large.

The listed bank owned by taipan George Ty said it discovered the fraudulent act last July 13 when the bank’s Corporate Banking Group discovered two dubious letters dated June 21 and 30 this year.

The letters sought the issuance of two manager’s checks amounting to P35.35 million and P30.3 million, respectively, in favor of respondent Co.

The bank stated in the complaint that Sai’s name was written on the backs of the cashier’s checks in the endorsement portion, thereby facilitating the deposit and subsequent transfer of the funds.

“MBTC was also required to execute and submit a Letter of Commitment, to be implemented and completed within one year, to enhance corporate governance, credit administration, internal controls and audit, risk management, and customer on-boarding and monitoring processes,” the BSP also said in its statement.

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