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Filipino bank to counter sue Bangladesh Bank for 'maligning reputation'

  • Published at 09:03 pm February 11th, 2018
Filipino bank to counter sue Bangladesh Bank for 'maligning reputation'
Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has been considering filing a lawsuit against Bangladesh Bank officials for claiming RCBC's involvement in the $81m cyber heist two years ago, reports Rappler. The bank's statement comes after the Bangladesh central bank's announcement that it would file a lawsuit in New York against RCBC over the latter’s alleged involvement in the world's largest cyber heist in history. "We will not allow them to continue to malign RCBC. Various reports, including their own, indicate an inside job," reads a statement issued by the Filipino bank on Thursday. Bangladesh Bank and Dhaka officials "refuse to release their findings to hide from the Bangladeshi public what could very well be the involvement of its own officials who may have helped loot their money deposited with the New York Federal Reserve," reads the statement. Hackers attempted to steal close to $1bn from the Bangladesh Bank account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February 2016. The US bank was able to stop 30 of the 35 transactions.
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However, 5 transactions involving $81m entered the Philippines via RCBC through several fictitious accounts. The funds were laundered through several casinos as these were not covered by the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). The scandal led to the resignation of RCBC president and chief executive officer Lorenzo Tan. It also led to changes in the Philippines' AMLA. In May 2017, RCBC fully settled its record P1-billion fine for non-compliance with banking laws and regulations in connection with the scandal. On February 7, Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Razee Hassan said that his office's lawsuit against RCBC "would be filed in April." "If they sue, RCBC is ready and prepared. The first thing we will ask is for Bangladesh Bank and Dhaka [Bangladesh government] to submit to court their findings," RCBC replied. "If they refuse, they will immediately suffer from comparison since RCBC willingly shared information to the extent allowed by law. And why sue RCBC when they should be sueing instead their own, the criminal elements from within?" the bank added. RCBC questioned why Bangladesh Bank is not going after those who have been identified as having possession of the remaining money. "There is none left in RCBC. It is time for Bangladesh Bank and Dhaka to come clean and give its [Bangladesh’s] people answers," RCBC said.