BSP not worried over Citibank case

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2010 03:45 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2010 11:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is not worried over the “isolated” embezzlement done by Citibank executive Brian Ang, who allegedly carted away no less than P4 million from the bank.

According to Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr, the amount Ang allegedly stole from high-end clients is small compared to the assets and resources of the bank.

“Almost 97% ng deposito sa Pilipinas ay up to 500,000 pesos only at fully-covered ng deposit insurance system. ‘Yung malalaking deposit, 3% lang ng total depositors,” Espenilla said in an interview over DZMM on Monday.

Ang allegedly embezzled more than P100 million from his clients’ money after offering higher interest rates for time deposit accounts.

“Hindi namin inaasahan na dahil sa problemang ito ay magkaka-problema ang bangkong naturan at itong ganitong bagay... mukhang isolated ito involved [lang] sa isang account officer at iilang kliyente,” he added.

Espenilla said the BSP has been monitoring the situation since Citibank reported the incident. He added that BSP can only impose administrative actions on such cases.

Citibank is responsible for disciplinary mechanisms against Ang, said Espenilla. If found guilty, BSP can disqualify Ang from the banking system.

“Pwede po namin (BSP) i-disqualify sa banking system ang isang tao na nakagawa ng pagkakamali na napatunayan naman sa isang due process na imbestigasyon. This is administrative action on the part of BSP,” he said.

Counter-check offers

Espenilla said that depositors, both big and small players, should be wary of high interest offers from banks, and should be vigilant with their money.

“Dapat sa pagde-deposito natin, huwag tayong maghangad ng masyadong matataas na interest [na] parang lihis na sa kalakaran sa merkado, Sa aming experience, ito ang mga napapahamak, napapasubo, sa ganitong klaseng transaksyon. Be realistic sa kung anong makukuha na interests sa bangko,” he advised.

Espenilla added that depositors should not depend on only one account officer and should always counter-check with the bank.

In embezzlement cases, the deputy governor added that banks normally conduct investigations. They are also responsible for the lost money and should run after erring personnel.

“Kadalasan ganun ang desisyon ng bangko (Return customers money). Kung lalabas na dehado ang isang customer dahil sa pagkakamali ng isa niyang empleyado, papanindigan niyan ang isang bangko at bangko na ang maghabol dun sa tao,” he said. -- report from DZMM