Senate panel will subpoena bank execs in BPI, BDO system glitch probe

SENATOR Francis Escudero, chair of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions, and currencies, said he will summon bank officials in the panel's probe on the system glitches affecting financial giants Bank of the Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro.

On June 21, the committee will start its probe on the recent "BPI glitch" and "BDO ATM tampering" that allegedly caused some of its depositors to lose money in unauthorized transactions.

Ranking officers of BPI and BDO have been summoned by the committee to address the problem and to make sure that appropriate measures will be taken to prevent a possible repeat of the problem causing inconvenience and allegedly causing financial losses to some.

The panel will also request the presence of officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) in the investigation.

Escudero said the committee will look into both incidents considering the grave impacts on the country's financial system should there be a repeat of the incident.

"This is very alarming and we have to explore measures to prevent a repeat of the incident," the senator said.

It was reported that the NBI CyberCrime Unit conducted its own investigations into the malfunctions suffered by the two big banks.

Escudero said he opted to wait for the findings of the parallel probes by the BSP, AMLC, and the NBI Cybercrime division before they decided to invite the parties.

This inquiry, Escudero said, aims to craft remedial legislation considering the security and integrity of our banking sector is at stake.

Escudero said that those behind the tampering must be identified and revealed as he urged the need for transparency on the matter.

Earlier, there were news reports on the alleged arrests of foreigners tampering bank ATMS causing alarm to several clients.

BDO had called on depositors to report cases of ATM "skimming," one week after an "internal error" paralyzed electronic services of rival BPI.

Officials of BDO played down reports of ATM fraud, saying compromised cards were disabled.

Both BPI and BDO reassured the public and their depositors that they are giving proper protection to their depositors and their transactions. (SunStar Philippines)