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Bank of Cebu goes to court, bucking closure

By Jhunnex Napallacan
Inquirer
First Posted 01:48:00 09/16/2006

Filed Under: Banking, Central Banks

CEBU CITY -- The Bank of Cebu has accused the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) of grave abuse of discretion in their closure of the bank last Aug. 31.

The bank and two of its owners and some depositors this week asked the Court of Appeals in Cebu City for a temporary restraining order on the closure.

The petitioners include Ephraim Cuadra Salcedo, president of Bank of Cebu; Ricardo Angeles, representing Peninsula Equities and Realty Assets Inc., the majority stockholder of the bank; Danilo Lucas, a stockholder and representative of the employees; and several depositors.

They noted that the bank, under new management, had improved operations over the past two years.

They said that on Aug. 31, when PDIC enforced a receivership order, all the Bank of Cebu branches were operating normally.

?The bank had and has realizable assets to meet liabilities,? the petition said. ?And it has been able to continue its business without involving probable losses to its depositors or creditors.?

They added that their records showed the bank was clean and debt-free, and with no liability other than deposit liabilities. ?In other words, the Bank is sound and being properly managed. It is very solvent.?

Leopoldo Solano, chief of branch operations and one of the petitioners, said in an interview,
?It was a real shock to everyone that the bank was placed under receivership and petitioners question the basis for such action of the Monetary Board and BSP.?

The Bank of Cebu has seven branches, 7,800 depositors and over 100 employees. With INQ7.net



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