BSP probes EastWest deposits taken by missing staff
The Gotianun-led lender confirmed earlier in the day reports about the incident, saying a female branch manager went missing together with the deposits of two customers "with whom she had been transacting for years."
Philstar.com/Deejae Dumlao

BSP probes EastWest deposits taken by missing staff

Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - January 14, 2021 - 10:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has launched a formal probe on deposit funds from EastWest Banking Corp. taken by a staff who has gone missing.

Monetary authorities said in a statement Thursday evening that it has started “looking into reported unauthorized transactions relayed by some of the country’s lawmakers and reported by the media.”

While the BSP did not provide further details, the investigation came hours after ACT CIS party-list Rep. Nina Taduran revealed in a radio interview early in the day that EastWest Bank lost hundreds of millions of pesos of 2 long-time depositors.

In a separate statement, the Gotianun-led lender confirmed the incident, but did not reveal the amount stolen by one of its female branch managers. The branch involved was also not mentioned. 

Investors, however, appeared to have reacted negatively to the news already swirling during trading hours. On Thursday, shares in EastWest fell 1.15% to P10.36 each, bucking a positive mood in the main index.

“We have been in touch with the two affected depositors. They have been informed that an internal investigation is ongoing and that we will credit back to their account the amount taken,” EastWest said.

"EastWest will always stand by its commitment to protect depositors’ and customers’ money. The issue is limited to one branch but nonetheless we shall put in place additional system-wide safeguards to make sure this isolated incident does not happen again," the company added. 

Other details about the incident are currently scarce and BSP, as banking regulator, only went as far as saying that consumer complaints of this kind are being dealt with seriously, while assuring other depositors that their funds remain safe in banks.

“The domestic banking system adheres to robust and globally-adherent regulations for managing risks, including operational and cybersecurity risks,” the bank said.

EASTWEST BANKING CORP.
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