“Legem debet applicare ad omnes.”
The law must apply to all.
Rules applied to Banco Filipino should apply to all, said LKY Group president and CEO Wilbert Lee, who urged the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to conduct a full inquiry into a DOSRI (Directors, Officers, Stockholders and. Related Interests) complaint he filed against China Bank.
In two separate letters to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Lee urged the banking regulator to conduct a full investigation into the complaint he filed against China Banking Corporation (CBC), China Bank Savings Inc. (CBSI), and their directors and officers.
He also appealed to the BSP to file a complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) if the respondents are found to have unreported DOSRI loans.
In a letter dated June 16 and addressed to members of the BSP's Monetary Board, Lee said the CBC, CBSI, and its officials approved and released DOSRI loans worth P4.13 billion to his firm, Primark.
According to Lee, the accused deliberately concealed the character of the loans being DOSRI and failed to comply with the reportorial requirements for DOSRI loans.
Lee pleaded to the Board to direct the conduct of a fact-finding investigation and upon proof of failure to report the DOSRI loans, appropriate sanctions be imposed such as filing of a complaint before the DOJ like the case of the late former Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, et al. for the Banco Filipino's unreported DOSRI loan of more than P2 billion.
Lee revealed in the letter that as early as February, he had informed the BSP's Financial Supervision Sector of the "possible violations" of the respondents, which advised him to file an administrative complaint.
The BSP's Office of the General Counsel and Legal Services informed Lee that his complaint would be referred to the FSS.
According to Lee: "It seems to me, however, that nobody in the regulatory agency for banks would dare touch with a ten-foot pole the directors and officers of China Bank. Such timorous attitude towards these directors and officers from regulators is chilling to public interest."
In another letter dated June 22, Lee appealed to the Monetary Board "to direct a full-inquiry against the directors and officers of China Bank and not only the bank itself."
Lee stressed that he was not seeking the closure of China Bank, "but the DOSRI violation is too grand a crime to be swept under the rug."
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, meanwhile, said it is looking at the alleged non-reporting of a universal bank of DOSRI loans.
The BSP assured the public that through the years, the BSP has fortified its rules on DOSRI to deter any opportunistic acts of directors, officers, stockholders and related interests (DOSRI) of banks. DOSRI rules are strictly enforced and violations of such rules are serious in nature and are not treated lightly by the BSP.
“Rest assured that the Philippine banking system remains fundamentally sound despite the challenges over the years. 2020 proves to be no exception despite the CoVid-19 pandemic. The banking system is sound and resilient due to strict implementation of banking regulations, ” the BFP said.