Bank customers are being warned to stay away from the countrys largest bank, the citizens bank, after it was discovered that it was sending money overseas.
The Citizens Bank of the Philippines was fined a total of RM1,500,000 ($1.2 million) for not reporting its foreign accounts to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the Philippine Bankers Association (PBPA), which represents the country’s biggest banks.
The PBPA said the bank had received an anonymous tip in February that its accounts had been used by suspected drug dealers and money launderers.
In a statement on Tuesday, the PBPA warned that it is “extremely concerned” about the bank’s handling of foreign accounts, saying it is a sign that the bank is not taking the issue seriously.
“We are concerned that if this is not corrected immediately, we could be in a situation where the PBPS can act as a check on the bank, but not in a timely manner,” the PB PA said.
“The PBPS will act as the enforcement body of the Philippine government and will be vigilant to ensure that the public is protected.”
In a separate statement on Wednesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it had detained four people suspected of being involved in the scheme.
The PNP said that the suspects were “responsible for the transfer of funds and funds to the bank in question”.
“It is an act of international criminal activity to send funds overseas to evade the reporting of foreign assets, the PNP added.”
As a result, the bank has been designated as a financial crime organization and is subject to prosecution under the Criminal Code of the Republic of the Islands,” it added.
In September, the banks watchdog warned that the PPP was “extremely vigilant” against any bank which “does not take the appropriate action to protect its clients and to ensure compliance with the country s financial and financial regulation”.”
If there is any suspicious activity that is not addressed in a transparent and timely manner, the regulator may initiate action against the bank,” the watchdog said in a report on the banks’ compliance with financial regulations.
The PPP also said that it has issued a warning to the banks regulator that the government is not “enthusiastic about bank banking”.”
We have been informed that the Philippine authorities are not willing to act as an enforcement body in the country, which is why they are trying to regulate the banks,” said the PPA.