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PDIC digs into records of Hortaleza-led thrift bank

State-run Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday it is digging into the records of the closed World Partners Bank, a Laguna-based thrift bank led by the founders of Splash Corp.

PDIC president Roberto Tan said in a phone interview the agency would determine if unlawful banking practices were committed by the board and officers of World Partners Bank, which was ordered closed by the Monetary Board of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last week.

World Partners Bank, a five-unit thrift bank with head office in San Pedro City, Laguna, is headed by Rosalinda Hortaleza as chairman and chief executive, Rolando Hortaleza as vice chairman and Corazon Balinas as president.  Rolando Hortaleza is also the chairman of Splash Corp. which was delisted from the Philippine Stock Exchange in October 2016.

Tan said PDIC was now in the process of gathering the pertinent documents from the bank and its branches.  “The more you have deposits, the longer it takes to know [if there were some irregularities],” Tan said. “We are still in the process of collecting the documents that are in the bank branches.” 

“We will come out with a report soon. But I can’t comment now because we are bound by law until we finished examining the bank records. We have to make an announcement at the proper time,” Tan said.

The Monetary Board said in a statement it closed the Laguna-based thrift bank due to unsound financial condition. It was the sixth lender shut down by BSP this year.

The Monetary Board prohibited World Partners Bank from doing business in the Philippines. Under Resolution No. 1340 dated Aug. 11, 2017, the board directed PDIC as the receiver to proceed with the takeover and liquidation of the bank.

Tan said the executives of the closed bank could face charges if PDIC found that some unlawful banking practices were committed before its closure. The Hortalezas controlled formerly listed Splash Corp.

World Partners Bank has branches in Meycauayan and Sta. Maria in Bulacan, San Pablo City in Laguna and Tanauan City in Batangas.

The bank’s general information sheet filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as of Dec. 31, 2016 showed that World Partners Bank was owned by Ang Hortaleza Corp. (60 percent) and Rosalinda  Hortaleza (40 percent).

Latest available records showed that as of June 30, 2017, World Partners Bank had 22,613 deposit accounts with total deposit liabilities of P559.5 million. Total insured deposits amounted to P411.0 million, equivalent to 73.5 percent of total deposits.

The Philippine Stock Exchange in October last year approved the petition of Splash for voluntary delisting. Trading of Splash shares were earlier suspended after its minimum public ownership fell below the required 10 percent.

Splash filed a petition with PSE for voluntary delisting as early as July last year, citing the low trading volume over the last 24 months due to the weak response of the investing public to the share buy-back program and company’s desire to avoid telegraphing business plans to competitors as primary reasons.

Splash was incorporated in September 1991 to develop, manufacture bottle, pack and market cosmetics and other beauty products and pharmaceutical products.

Topics: Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. , PDIC , World Partners Bank , Splash Corp.
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