House to initiate inquiry into Metrobank ‘internal fraud’
The chair of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries on Friday called a congressional investigation into an “alarming” case of internal fraud amounting to P900 million that rocked Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank), the country’s second-largest bank.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, in a statement to reporters, said his panel would inquire into the scam allegedly perpetrated by a senior bank official who funneled disbursed loans into fictitious accounts created in the name of a legitimate client.
“The discovery of the ‘fake accounts’ in Metrobank is very alarming,” he said.
“The adverse effects of the existence of ‘fake bank accounts’ is more damaging than ‘fake news’ because this [involves] actual money of depositors,” Evardone said.
The lawmaker said his committee would invite the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the inquiry on a still-unspecified date.
“[Being] the regulatory body of all banks, it should be more proactive in its regulatory functions to protect the depositors and the banking industry in general,” he said.
The committee will also ask top officials of Metrobank why the scam happened, he said.
“We will look into their protocols and procedures why fake accounts were allowed to be opened. It is estimated that Metrobank lost P1.2 billion because deposits were funneled to fake accounts,” he said.
“This is very dangerous to the depositors, to say the least,” Evardone said.
The Inquirer reported on Friday that Metrobank, owned and controlled by George Ty, might have lost as much as P2.5 billion after a bank vice president allegedly funneled disbursed loans into fictitious accounts created in the name of Universal Robina Corp.
The funds in the fake accounts, allegedly controlled by the rogue officers, were then siphoned off electronically to other accounts in other financial institutions and into the pockets of the suspect. JPV
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.