BSP slaps RCBC P1-B over Bangladesh bank cyber heist


Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) get slapped with a P1 billion fine in connection with the US $81 million cyber bank heist from Bangladesh Bank.

The BSP said the policy-making Monetary Board-approved supervisory action against the bank was made “in connection with the special examination conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) relating to the Bangladesh Bank cyber heist.”

The fine imposed on RCBC was the largest to date against any BSP-regulated institution.

RCBC said it will comply with MB Resolution No. 1392 that imposes the fine.

The penalized bank will pay the amount in two equal tranches over a one-year period, P500 million upon approval by the Monetary Board and P500 million one year after.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines Maj. Gen. John Gomes, in a briefing at their embassy in Makati City Friday, said they learned about the penalty on the news despite meeting with BSP officials earlier in the day.

Asked whether Bangladesh officials consider the penalty as an admission of guilt on the part of the Philippines central bank, Gomes did not answer on affirmative but said that they were told that something would be done.

Gomes explained that the liability of RCBC has not been pointed out during discussions between representatives of the two countries but Bangladesh officials leave it to Philippine officials to run after RCBC.

He said imposition of the fine “is a positive thing” and the Bangladesh government was happy with how its Philippine counterpart helped in the recovery of the stolen money.

“We can see some positive things happening but we will leave it to the Philippine court, the judicial system to handle RCBC now,” he added.

Supreme Court of Bangladesh Senior Advocate Ajmalul Hossain QC, during the same briefing, also discounted filing of any charges against RCBC for now.

The Bangladesh Bank heist happened in February 2016 and became a major international cyber crime issue since BB funds deposited with the Federal Reserve of New York were withdrawn without the go signal of Bangladesh officials and deposited to several countries like the Philippines.

The whole transaction happened in just about two weeks and perpetrators took advantage of the holidays both in Bangladesh and the Philippines.


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