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Banco Filipino Denies Bank Holiday, Depositors, Worried about their Money?

By on Mar 17, 2011 in Asia, Banking, Business, Finance Comments

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Banco Filipino denied having a unilateral bank holiday after many of its branches closed Tuesday and Wednesday March 15 & 16, 2011. According to Banco Filipino Vice Chairman Perfecto Yasay, March 16, the banks continue to be in service but their tellers refuse to report for work due to threats from irked depositors.

Many depositors are worried about their hard-earned money after the two straight days that the bank remained closed. Clients cannot access their money saying that ATM’s do not dispense money, and checks are bouncing. Banco Filipino has an estimated P17 billion worth of deposits in all their 62 branches.

Senior officials of the Banco Filipino blame the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the alleged smear campaign designed to shut it down. The reported instability of the bank created a massive withdrawal from its depositors causing the bank to incur a P903 million overdraft. They have requested an emergency loan from the BSP and requested the latter to ward off the withdrawal by denying the derogatory rumors about their financial status.

The BSP has not yet given an official statement regarding the request for a P3 billion loan of Banco Filipino. However, they have released a letter directed to the top management of the bank to explain their status and address the complaints of the depositors.

Meanwhile, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile said that the bank should close if it has problems with its management. Should there be a closure; Senator Ralph Recto said that the BSP together with the PDIC should ensure that the depositors are protected. The agencies must work to rescue the depositors and not the bankers.

Amidst the controversy of the bank, clients waited the whole day last Wednesday for the different branches to open. Depositors called the Banco Filipino hotline but the operator could not give clear information saying that the management is still in negotiation with the Bangko Sentral.

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