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Lifting of Bank Secrecy Being Pushed Anew

  • DoF and BSP renewed their call for bank secrecy to be lifted following the dragging of the Philippines into a financial scandal involving the German payment company Wirecard AG last month.
  • BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said amending the Republic Act (RA) No. 1405, the law on secrecy of bank deposits, will further protect the country’s banking system from possible fraud.
  • “BSP is also working closely with the DoF to help push for the immediate passage of this critical piece of legislation that will finally break the walls of bank secrecy law in fraud cases,” Diokno added.
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The Department of Finance and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas have been pushing to lift bank secrecy for tax purposes and automatic exchange of information as well as amendments to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

DoF and BSP renewed their call for bank secrecy to be lifted following the dragging of the Philippines into a financial scandal involving the German payment company Wirecard AG last month.

The scandal included the missing $2.1-billion fund from Wirecard and the use of the names of two of the country’s largest banks, BDO Unibank Inc. and Bank of the Philippines Islands, to conceal tracks of the perpetrators. No portion of the missing amount reached the financial system in the Philippines.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said amending the Republic Act (RA) No. 1405, the law on secrecy of bank deposits, will further protect the country’s banking system from possible fraud.

“Lifting of the bank secrecy is one of the key reforms that the BSP has been pushing for years, the BSP will continue to communicate to Congress the importance of the reform to align our laws with international best practices, as well as to better protect our banking system and our people from potential fraudsters,” Diokno said during the Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum last week.

“BSP is also working closely with the DoF to help push for the immediate passage of this critical piece of legislation that will finally break the walls of bank secrecy law in fraud cases,” Diokno added.

Diokno assured the BSP’s financial sector reform agenda would continue and ensure effective implementation of existing regulations.

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