AMA Rural Bank claims PDIC has all records, documents
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - November 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Shuttered AMA Rural Bank of Mandaluyong Inc. owned by businessman Amable Aguiluz turned the tables on Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC), saying the state-deposit insurer already took custody of all bank records and documents.

In a statement issued over the weekend, AMA Rural Bank said PDIC seized and sealed all the records, documents, and assets of the bank when it took over  last Nov. 8.

“No officer or employee of the bank was allowed to touch any of the bank documents. They were only allowed a short time to remove their personal effects from their desks, after which the filing cabinets, drawers, and all records of the bank were sealed with yellow PDIC tape,” AMA Rural Bank said.

To this date, the bank claimed, PDIC has not issued an inventory of the bank documents, records, and assets it took custody of.

“Since PDIC terminated all officers and employees of AMA Rural Bank and prohibited its directors and stockholders from interfering with the PDIC takeover, the bank was prevented from properly turning over its books, records, and assets to PDIC,” the closed bank said.

The central bank issued Resolution 1705.D on Nov. 7 prohibiting AMA Rural Bank from doing business in the Philippines pursuant to Section 30 of Republic Act 7653 or the New Central Bank Act.

On Friday, PDIC accused employees of the shuttered bank of refusing to turn over bank records, delaying the payment of claims of deposits for insured depositors.

The Mandaluyong-based bank has 8,434 deposits accounts with deposit liabilities amounting to P1.4 billion. Of the total amount, about 92.06 percent or P1.3 billion are insured deposits.

AMA Rural Bank is ranked 15th largest rural bank in terms of assets with P2.83 billion and fifth in terms of capital with P1.04 billion.

PDIC warned it would use the full force of Republic Act 3591 or the PDIC Charter that states that refusal to turn over or destroying or tampering bank records by any director, officer, employee or agent of a bank are criminal acts.

“The PDIC will not hesitate to use the full force of the law to safeguard the interest of the depositing public,” it added.

Violation of the law, it warned, are punishable with imprisonment of not less than six years up to 12 years or a fine of not more than P10 million, or both, at the discretion of the court.

However, AMA Rural Bank said in a statement the PDIC should not blame the bank for the consequences of the abrupt cessation of its operations, which effectively prevented the accounting of bank documents, records and assets, essential to settling depositors’ claims.  

 “AMA Rural Bank’s representatives are set to meet with their PDIC counterparts to facilitate a resolution on the matter,” it said.

The management of AMA Rural Bank has questioned the closure order, stating the bank was liquid after shareholders infused an additional P405 million as well as the total deposit due from BSP and other banks amounting to P246 million.

“We challenge the closure as unreasonable. Guided by legal measures, we are exploring all possible courses of actions to resume our full operations and continue to serve you,” the bank said in a statement.

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