Senate probers await final BSP report on BPI, BDO incidents

Photo from CNN Philippines

Senators will wait for the final report from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on the recent glitches at Bank of Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro (BDO) before calling another Senate hearing on banking mishaps.

Sen. Francis G. Escudero said Senate probers are also assessing the need for tougher measures to boost efforts seeking to avert similar incidents involving automated teller machine (ATM) “skimming” that recently hit BDO ATMs.

“Kung kinakailangan pa, mag-conduct kami ng isa pang inquiry, pero titignan muna namin ’yung final report ng BSP,” said Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies.

He indicated the committee is likewise awaiting submission of similar incident reports from other similarly affected banks. “At kung may iba pang mga insidente, depende kung kinakailangan. Uulitin ko, para lang maipagbigay alam sa publiko kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari at hindi sila mag-alala  kaugnay sa seguridad ng kanilang bank deposits.”

According to Escudero, the committee is open to endorsing passage of remedial legislation to give BSP regulators extra powers when Congress reconvenes regular session on July 24.

“We are trying to address most of the things through the amendments to the BSP Charter to empower Bangko Sentral Monetary Board in the exercise of their regulatory power to impose additional requirements on banks as the times are changing,” the senator said.

He added: “Hopefully, all of those would be addressed in the BSP charter amendments, plus the transnational and transborder nature of such crimes.”

Still, Escudero did not close the door on the possibility of calling another hearing on banking glitches, if needed. “It depends, if there’s another situation or incident that needs to be clarified, we will call a hearing in case the need arises. Under the rules and inquiries of legislation, we can do that anyway.”


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