August 20, 2021

Bank secrecy measures will help Filipinos

The public would gain significantly from the proposed bank deposit secrecy rules, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno, since they will assist combat domestic and international tax evasion and other financial crimes.

Diokno expressed his gratitude to Malacanang for included these bills among the President’s legislative objectives for the next 18th Congress.

During a press conference on Thursday, he added, “The law strengthens the BSP’s ability to execute its mission of ensuring the safety and soundness of the banking system.”

House Bill (HB) 8991 is now on its second reading in the House of Representatives, and many related bills are currently before the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries.

The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies has also received many bank secrecy bills.

According to Diokno, 22 private groups have made comments in favor of the Bank Deposits Secrecy Act, noting the bill’s effect on economic recovery.

He added that the central bank can share the results of its investigation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Department of Justice (DOJ), and courts in order to “prevent or prosecute an offense or crime.”

“Compliance with international transparency requirements would increase public and international confidence in the local financial system,” he said.

During the same press conference, BSP Senior Assistant Governor and General Counsel lawyer Elmore Capule stated that the results of their investigations cannot be shared with the Commission on Audit (COA) in the fight against government corruption because the measure focuses on financial institutions.

“However, our proposed change aims to prevent insider misuse, which refers to bank fraud perpetrated by bank officials, directors, and agents. “Its goal is to stop them from abusing their position and using bank secrecy as a shield,” he added.

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