Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. president and chief executive Lorenzo Tan plans to go on leave, to give the bank’s board a free hand in investigating the alleged involvement of a Makati branch in money laundering.
Francis Lim, the legal counsel of Tan, said in a statement Tan had not offered to resign from the bank, but would go on leave while the investigation was ongoing.
“He has offered to go on leave to give the bank a free hand in investigating the alleged money laundering issue involving its Jupiter branch in Makati and its branch manager,” Lim said in a statement.
“The bank’s board thanked him for his gentlemanly and decent gesture but said their trust in him is intact and unshaken,” Lim said.
Tan was the head of the Bankers Association of the Philippines and the Asian Bankers Association.
Authorities in Bangladesh, the US and the Philippines were investigating reports that Chinese hackers stole $100 million placed by Bangladesh central bank in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and that some had been traced to Philippine banks and casinos.
Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. said it began investigating reports that as much as $100 million in suspicious funds were remitted to the bank accounts of three casinos it didn’t identify.
Funds were later dispatched into accounts outside the Philippines, including to Hong Kong, according to reports.
RCBC corporate vice chairman Cesar Virata said the bank was investigating the deposit of $81 million in its Jupiter branch and the subsequent transactions thereon. Virata assured the bank was cognizant of its bank secrecy obligations and would at all times maintain confidentiality of its accounts.
Meanwhile, the branch manager of RCBC Jupiter in Makati City and her family were offloaded from a Philippine Airlines flight bound for Tokyo Friday, according to a report by broadcast network ABS-CBN. The branch manager was invited by the Senate to appear at a hearing next week.
“RCBC and its principal shareholders – the Yuchengco family, Cathay Life, the largest life insurance company in Taiwan, and IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank – are fully committed to comply with all banking laws and regulations, in particular those on money laundering,” RCBC said in a statement. With Bloomberg
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