BB heist: Philippines bank RCBC’s treasurer quits | The Daily Star
04:09 PM, April 21, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:19 PM, April 21, 2016

BB heist: Philippines bank RCBC’s treasurer quits

The treasurer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. of the Philippines has stepped down on the heels of a government probe on the US$81-million money laundering case.

Raul Victor Tan, treasurer and executive vice president, resigned effective April 20, RCBC said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange today.

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In his place, the RCBC board has appointed Carlos Cesar Mercado, who has the rank of senior vice president, as acting treasurer.

On February 5, some $81 million was wired from the bank account of the central bank of Bangladesh with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to four bank accounts at the RCBC Jupiter branch. The money – which turned out to have been stolen by hackers – found its way to local casinos.

Industry sources said Tan – who has appeared in previous hearings conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee – had received from RCBC head office a written warning for an apparent error in judgment in relation to the Bangladesh remittance. But an internal bank probe had shown that he was not in collusion with RCBC branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito, gatekeeper of the dirty money from Bangladesh.

Tan had been with RCBC for seven years. He served as head of treasury group and the retail banking group.

“Raul Tan was cleared by RCBC of any involvement in the purported $81 million cyber heist. Out of decency and honour, and despite his lack of involvement in the same, he tendered his resignation because of command responsibility, as Deguito – whose culpability has been clearly and convincingly established – was under him. He offered previously to resign (these were not accepted by RCBC) and insisted that the offer already be accepted,” RCBC head of legal and regulatory affairs Maria Cecilia Fernandez-Estavillo said in a statement on Thursday.

“Deguito, on the other hand, admitted to the Senate that she lied to head office to get the transaction approved, clearly showing that head office had no involvement in the same,” she said.

RCBC has slapped penalties – ranging from termination, suspension and warnings – to bank employees who were either involved or amiss in their duties.

The RCBC board also gave Tan clearance from the controversy, thanking him for valuable services and wishing him well in his future endeavour.

“As head of the investment management team, he was instrumental in growing treasury trading revenues to historic highs, which peaked at over P6 billion in 2012. As head of the retail banking group, low-cost deposits of the retail bank grew at an average of 24 percent per annum, booked consumer loan referrals moved up by 35 percent per year. And bancassurance sales reached P1.2 billion in 2015,” RCBC senior vice president and corporate information officer Christina Alvarez said in a letter to PSE.

“RCBC’s internal investigation had previously cleared Mr. Raul Tan of any participation in or breach of banking policies with respect to the $81 million money laundering issue,” Alvarez stressed.

Copyright: Philippine Daily Inquirer/ Asia News Network

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