At least four lawmakers have sought to empower depositors to question the closing of banks by the Monetary Board.
House Resolution 869 by Reps. Ronald Cosalan of Benguet, Arthur Defensor, Jr. of Iloilo, Jesulito Manalo of Angkla party-list and Romero Quimbo of Marikina tasks the House banks and financial intermediaries panel to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the plight of depositors of closed banks.
The lawmakers made the call in the light of the recent closure of the Export and Industry Bank (EIB) – a commercial bank with thousands of depositors consisting of retirees, small entrepreneurs and cooperatives, among others.
The lawmakers noted that while the EIB depositors want to exhaust all measures, they have inadequate remedies since the law provides that orders and resolutions of the Monetary Board as regards conservatorship, receivership and liquidation of troubled banks are immediately final and executory and that the right to judicially challenge the same is solely vested in the majority stockholders of the bank.
The maximum deposit insurance coverage of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation of P500,000 per account does not always cover the entire amount of deposits in the closed banks.
“The most adversely affected in this spate of bank closures are our constituents who entrusted their hard-earned money to the banks only to lose the same without any fault on their part. It is now imperative that we introduce reforms in our banking statutes to give ample protection to the depositing public,” the lawmakers added.
More than 300 banks have been ordered closed by the Monetary Board during the past 16 years.
Majority of those closed banks are rural banks, thrift banks, savings banks and small commercial banks with deposits comprising funds of retirees, cooperatives, small-scale businesses and mutual fund associations, among other depositors.