Legislation to protect banking industry eyed

  • Written by Camillle P. Balagtas
  • Published in Top Stories
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UNDERSCORING on the need to protect depositors of various banks, Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero said the Senate is considering the possibility of amending the present Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) charter to bolster the BSP Monetary Board’s regulatory powers.

In an interview (over ANC) Escudero said the Senate is eyeing remedial legislation to protect the present banking industry.
He said they are waiting for the final report from the BSP on the recent glitches at Bank of the Philippine Island and skimming fraud at Banco de Oro before they will finally decide to call another Senate hearing on banking hitches.
“Although the two problems from the two banks are entirely different, they both admitted encountering at least 20 to 100 failed attempts to hack them daily,” Escudero said.
Escudero who chairs the Senate Committee on Banks Financial Institutions and Currencies said it is for this reason that his committee is assessing the need for tougher measures to boost efforts to avert similar incidents involving ATM skimming and glitches.
Escudero also said his committee is likewise awaiting incident reports from other similarly affected banks as he explained the need to protect the banking system and stressed the importance of this industry to the country and the economy.
During the hearing, Ramon Jocson, BPI’s Executive Vice President in charge of Information Technology, assured the Senate that there was absolutely “no hacking” that transpired and said that the glitch was caused by human error in judgment of one of their programmers.
Jocson said the remedial action was taken immediately to avoid further repetition as they admitted the need for deepening training and expertise as well as more rigorous implementation of internal controls.
He admitted that their top priority right now is to re-establish trust that depositors are protected under the various services they are offering clients which include fund transfer, remittances, online transaction and other transactions thru electronic channels.
For their part BDO top honchos who were present during the same hearing headed by Edwin Romualdo G. Reyes , EVP  Transacting Banking Group Head assured the public that they have full control of the situation and that there is no cause for worry.
At least seven BDO ATMs out of 3,000 BDO ATMs nationwide have been affected from three locations which were immediately addressed by disabling the cards that had been reportedly compromised.
Skimming, according to Reyes, is done through illegal devices that read the magnetic strip of ATM cards as transactions are being done.
Reyes said BDO adhered to the principle of quality control and assured the public that they have full control of the situation.
Senator Escudero said the committee is open to endorsing passage of remedial legislation to give BSP regulators extra powers when Congress reconvenes regular session on July 24.