Former Export Bank exec claims PDIC charge ‘false, baseless’ | Inquirer Business
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Former Export Bank exec claims PDIC charge ‘false, baseless’

MANILA, Philippines—The chief of the defunct Export and Industry Bank has decried charges against him and other former bank officers by the state-owned Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. of having allegedly engaged in “unsafe and unsound” banking practice.

“The charge is utterly false and baseless. This may be in retaliation for the case filed by the shareholders of EIB against PDIC questioning the hasty and unwarranted decision to liquidate EIB,” bank chairman Jaime Gonzales said in a statement.

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“Instead of harassing me and other officers of EIB, PDIC should focus on addressing the situation of the depositors of EIB especially as last week I brought a group of foreign investors to meet with both BSP and PDIC for the acquisition of EIB under a deal that is expected to give depositors a better recovery than liquidation,” he said.

Gonzales said he had not received a copy of the charge and had only come to know of it based on what has been reported in the news. PDIC said it filed the criminal charges against Gonzales and other bank officers after finding out that EIB had spent P4.8 million in so-called success fee, P3 million of which was disbursed to investment banking firm AO Capital Partners, of which Gonzales is chair.

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Last April 26, the majority shareholders of EIB went to the Court of Appeals in an attempt to fend off the bank’s liquidation, alleging “indecent haste” and “grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction” among banking regulators that ordered the dissolution.

In a separate manifestation filed at the Court of Appeals on May 2, the petitioners said the issuance of a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction was urgent, alleging that PDIC’s sale of EIB assets was “without regard for the interest of those which it should protect under the law.”

The manifestation cited multiple media sources quoting the PDIC about its plan to file within this month a petition for assistance in the liquidation with the Regional Trial Court of Makati as well and to sell EIB’s remaining assets. It quoted reports saying that PDIC was already selling small assets of EIB such as transport equipment and that PDIC intended to sell this month through public bidding or negotiated sale the vacated office units of Export Bank along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati with an aggregate floor area of 12,000 square meters.

The petition cited PDIC estimates that the units would fetch a total of P1.4 billion that, in turn, was seen to leave a “very small amount” for the uninsured depositors (or those with deposits in excess of the insured portion of P500,000) and ordinary creditors.

“This should not have been the case. Previously, during the negotiations for the sale of the Export Bank Plaza with interested third-party investors, an offer of P2.7 billion was made for the acquisition of the same building,” the petition said.

“If public respondent PDIC is willing to sell the Export Bank Plaza via negotiated sale anyway, it should renew discussions with the same interested third-party investors in order to sell for much more, instead of conditioning the minds of the uninsured depositors and ordinary creditors (as well as the public in general) that they should settle for less.”

The petition was signed by the following investors: Apex Bancrights Holdings Inc., Lead Bancfund Holdings Inc., Asia Wide Refreshments Corp., Medco Asia Investment Corp., Alfredo Yao, Zest-O Corp., Harmony Bancshares Holdings Inc. and Excalibur Holdings Inc. These investors control about 50.07 percent of EIB’s outstanding stocks.

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TAGS: Banking, Export and Industry Bank, Jaime Gonzales, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.
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