THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it was looking into the P900 million internal fraud in the country’s second-largest bank, the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., but downplayed the incident as an “isolated” case and would not have an impact on the overall perception on the Philippine banking industry.
“We are looking into it. So, that’s a report to us. So we have to look into the circumstances and the facts around it. That’s really all that the BSP can say for now,” Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. told reporters in an ambush interview on Friday.
“These things happen. They are isolated. And banks are well capitalized that is why banks have controls so that these kind of things can be mitigated and withstood,” he added.
In a statement disclosed to Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Metrobank confirmed the internal fraud but stressed that it had not affected any of its clients.
“Upon our own discovery, the Bank immediately caused the arrest of the individual involved in this case, who has been detained by the authorities since Monday,” it said without identifying the person involved.
“The Bank is reinforcing its commitment to the highest standards of integrity and upholds the protection of its customers as its main priority. No customer has been affected in this incident,” it said.
The Metrobank case follows the technical glitches at Banco de Oro (BDO) and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), which prompted a Senate investigation.
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Operations in the two banks have since normalized.