Manila: The Philippine central bank is looking into complaints that some clients of BDO Unibank Inc., the country’s largest lender by assets, lost money to online fraud that involved the use of Union Bank of the Philippines accounts.
“We are in close coordination with BDO as well as UBP on this incident to ensure that remedial measures are being undertaken, including reimbursement of affected consumers,” central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement on Sunday. The regulator has been monitoring a surge in complaints posted in social media since the early part of this week, he said.
Union Bank said it froze several accounts amid an investigation into a report that they were allegedly used to receive money from hacked accounts at another lender. One of the accounts used 5 million pesos ($99,280) of stolen funds to buy Bitcoin on December 11, according to a Manila Bulletin report that cited an unidentified source.
“We will not hesitate to take legal action against individuals who use their accounts to facilitate criminal activities,” UnionBank President Edwin Bautista told Bloomberg. “We have been monitoring and collaborating with BDO,” he said.
Diokno earlier on Sunday said regulators are on “top” of the situation. The central bank will “ensure the safety and integrity of the financial system as well as the protection of financial consumers,” he said in the statement.