Bangko Sentral pushes for amendments to bank secrecy law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2016 03:41 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday pushed for amendments to the bank secrecy law to promote transparency and prevent the recurrence of the $81 million Bangladesh Bank heist.

READ: $81M heist: The money trail

At a Senate hearing, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said proposed changes to the bank secrecy law as well as the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) would further strengthen the enforcement powers of the central bank.

The central bank would have had a better chance of detecting the $81 million heist at an early stage if it had "supervisory powers over money service businesses" and "the authority to look into the accounts," Tetangco told a hearing conducted by the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions, and currencies.

He also warned that the Philippines might attract laundered money due to strict bank secrecy laws.

Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) officer-in-charge Vincent Salido also said they support bank secrecy law amendments exempting public officials, among others, including matters involving congressional inquiries in the exemption. -- With a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News