RCBC reorganizes board after Bangladesh Bank heist scandal


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RCBC reorganizes board after Bangladesh Bank heist scandal
In the wake of the scandal, RCBC strengthens its board of directors, increasing the number of independent directors to 7 from the previous 4

MANILA, Philippines – Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has reorganized its 14-member Board of Directors, in the wake of the Bangladesh Bank heist involving $81 million coursed through the RCBC system.

RCBC told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Lilia Bautista, former Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) director Gabriel Claudio, and former Citibanker Vaughn Montes were elected as independent directors of the bank.

Bautista was also named as a member of the RCBC executive committee. Before RCBC, she served as chair of the World Trade Organization Appellate Body. (READ: RCBC, 3 casinos linked to $100M Bangladesh Bank fund heist)

Claudio was also a former director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the ex-chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). He was appointed to RCBC’s corporate government and related part transactions committees.

With his vast banking experience as a former Citibanker and director of DBP, Montes was also appointed to the bank’s risk oversight, audit, technology, and corporate governance committees.

The new directors replaced Medel Nera, Teodoro Regala, and Wilfredo Sanchez. (READ: Will Senate revive probe into Bangladesh Bank heist?)

This brought the number of independent directors of RCBC to 7 from the previous 4.

Other independent directors include former Trade Secretary Juan Santos, former Monetary Board member and Board of Investments managing head Melito Salazar Jr, Armando Medina, and Adelita Vergel de Dios.

Completing the board are RCBC chairperson Helen Yuchengco-Dee, former Prime Minister Cesar EA Virata, RCBC president Gil Buenaventura, Tze Ching Chan, Richard Westlake, John Law, and Yuh-Shing Peng.

Alvarez said Peng was appointed as member of RCBC’s corporate governance committee, replacing Dee, while Medina was appointed to the bank’s trust committee.

Virata, on the other hand, was named acting chairman of the trust committee. 

RCBC was at the center of the money laundering scandal last February after the stolen funds amounting to $81 million owned by the Bangladesh central bank entered the Philippines via RCBC’s Jupiter branch in Makati City.

After being cleared in the investigation, former RCBC president and CEO Lorenzo Tan resigned and was replaced by Buenaventura last July 1.

RCBC treasurer Raul Tan also stepped down.

Meanwhile, RCBC Jupiter branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito and customer relations manager Angela Torres were dismissed by the bank owned by taipan Alfonso Yuchengco for alleged lapses in handling the stolen funds.

Both the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee have since completed their respective investigations into the scandal.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) filed several criminal cases against several personalities before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

But until now, the Bangladesh envoy has not received a single cent of the stolen funds. – Rappler.com

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