• ‘Three attempts failed to compromise PSBank’s ATMs’

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    EXECUTIVE Compensation. Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) estimated the total compensation this year of its five top executives at P52.99 million – P38.76 million in salaries and P14.23 million in bonuses. The total translates to an average of P10.598 million each, but it does not necessarily mean each of them would be entitled to that amount. The list only attributes their total compensation for 2014.

    The compensation filing also listed the group’s compensation of P48.18 million in 2013 – P35.24 million in salaries and P12.94 million in bonuses; and P40.91 million in 2012 – P32.67 million in salaries and P8.24 million in bonuses.

    PSBank said in the same filing that “all other officers [assistant vice president up]and directors” will get this year P146.76 million in salaries and P43.70 million in bonuses for a total of P191.46 million. The group received P134.33 million in salaries and P39.73 million in bonuses for a total of P174.06 million in 2013; and P134.18 million in salaries and P33.63 million in bonuses for a total of P167.81 million in 2012.

    While PSBank included the compensation it pays its board in the amount it paid to “all other officers,” it nevertheless detailed the directors’ fees in an explanatory note to the filing that said it paid the board P13 million in 2013; P12.9 million in 2012; and P11.3 million in 2011.

    ATM’s safety. Philip Turner is described only as a stockholder in a filing posted by Philippine Savings Bank on the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). His identity is well noted in the bank’s filing because he not only attended annual meetings but raised questions during the open forum.

    Due Diligencer does not know who Turner is, but based on the bank’s filing, he could well qualify as a market watcher. Who knows, he could also be an activist stockholder that the majority stockholders of listed companies may have to contend with someday, which would be good for the public.

    In a recent PSE posting, Turner was also one among the few stockholders who stood up during an open forum. Perhaps his question was not expected but he did make his point very clear.

    Turner’s participation in the bank’s open forum happened back in 2013 but could not be easily forgotten, because his question was: Does PSBank check its ATM machines at least once a day to ensure safe and efficient operations?

    Pascual Garcia, the bank president then, said: “As early as December 2011, the bank already placed a number of ATM protection measures, which are supported by appropriate software programs.”

    Then Garcia made this revelation. “Because of these, the bank was able to intercept three attempts to compromise the ATMs,” Garcia said. “Up to now, none of the PSBank ATMs have been compromised,” he added.

    As president of PSBank, Pascual Garcia did the right thing by making such a disclosure back in 2013. He could have scared off the bank’s depositors, which, luckily did not happen. Proof of this is that the bank remains strong and continues to operate profitably.

    In an audited financial statement, PSBank reported a surplus of P10.205 billion that enabled it to declare dividends, the biggest of which was probably P3 per share which it distributed to all stockholders on record as of November 29, 2013.

    But PSBank may still want to make a proper and complete disclosure detailing the circumstances surrounding the “three attempts to compromise [its]ATMs” if it had not done this yet. When and how did all this happen? At what point during the attempts was the bank able to discover them? Where did all this happen? In Metro Manila, or in the provinces?

    Since Pascual has already retired, the present management may want to make a follow-up report on the safety of PSBank’s ATMs so that its depositors would exercise more caution in making withdrawals from their savings accounts.

    esdperez@gmail.com

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