Bankers eye body vs finance crimes – Philippine Star

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MANILA, Philippines – The new set of officers and directors of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) will look into recommendations of its past president to form an anti-financial crime committee (AFCC).

The new BAP president is Nestor Tan, president and chief executive officer of BDO Unibank Inc.

He replaced his younger brother Lorenzo Tan, president and chief executive officer of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) who served the maximum period as association president.

Lorenzo is currently embroiled in the controversy involving the $81 million stolen from the Bank of Bangladesh that was wired to accounts in an RCBC branch in Makati.

During turnover ceremonies last Monday, Lorenzo made several recommendations for the incoming BAP board to strengthen the country’s banking system.

Nestor said that the new board would look at the recommendations, but cautioned against jumping to any conclusions.

“We will have to define the terms of reference properly. As banks, we have to be careful not to stray too far from our corporate mandate or get into something beyond our core competencies,” he said.

Lorenzo proposed the creation of an anti-financial crime committee to be headed by a BAP board member with the specific mandate to look into financial crime compliance, anti-money laundering, counterterrorist financing and sanctions screening.

The committee would identify loopholes in existing laws and regulations.

In the process, the body could streamline and standardize the industry definition of financial crime terminologies and procedures, including know-your-client (KYC),politically exposed person (PEP),high-risk client (HRC) and special category client (SCC) standards. 

The body could also establish close coordination with regulators and even legislators.

Nestor said that the new board could also take up the proposed committee and the composition of the new body would depend on the focus of the principal.

“The composition of the proposed or recommended body will depend on the agreed terms of reference,” the BDO chief executive said.

There was no argument on the importance of close coordination with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP),the Anti-money Laundering Council (AMLAC),Congress, law enforcement agencies and all financial institutions.

A comprehensive strategy needs to be immediately implemented in order to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

The industry has to have the singlemindedness for the consistent implementation of policies across all banks and financial institutions. 

Aside from Tan, the 2016 BAP officers include Justo Ortiz (Union Bank of the Philippines),first vice president; Cezar Consing (Bank of the Philippine Islands, second vice president); Abraham Co (Asia United Bank),secretary; and Roberto Panlilio (JP Morgan Chase Bank),treasurer.

The rest of the board directors are: Roberto Benares (Bank of Commerce); Ricasro  Chua (China Banking Corp.); Fabian Dee (Metrobank); Roberto de Ocampo (Philippine Veterans Bank); Herminio Famatigan (Maybank); Consuelo Garcia (ING Bank); Reynaldo Maclang (Philippine National Bank); Tadahiro Miyamoto (Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ); Alfonso Salcedo (Security Bank),Jose Arnulfo Veloso (HSBC).                

Bankers eye body vs finance crimes – Philippine Star}