BSP sanctions BDO, UnionBank for unauthorized account access

The Bangko Central ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced the decision of the Monetary Board to sanction BDO Unibank, Inc. and UnionBank of the Philippines “to ensure that both banks will swiftly address the issues” raised by the central bank after concluding its investigations into the digital fraud incident involving a certain “Mark Nagoyo” last December. Unauthorized access to a number of BDO accounts was purportedly gained using a compromised web service, which was accompanied by a series of fund transactions, the majority of which were done through UnionBank accounts.

The BSP explained that the sanctions “highlight the significance of continuously improving risk management systems encompassing cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, and combatting terrorist and proliferation financing.”

The event serves as a reminder, according to BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, that “we should continue to develop our defenses against cyberthreat actors to defend the integrity of the financial system and depositors’ interests.”

Meanwhile, UnionBank President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista stated that no monetary penalties were imposed by the BSP.

“The BSP’s recommendations for preventing such accidents have all been implemented. There are no monetary consequences. However, we were instructed to enhance our capital charge against operational risk,” Bautista said BusinessWorld in a text message.

BDO President and CEO Nestor V. Tan, on the other hand, stated that the bank will abide by the penalty.

He told BusinessWorld over Viber, “We will collaborate with the BSP to guarantee a more safe banking environment.”

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) had previously praised the offenders’ arrest.

BAP President Jose Arnulfo Veloso remarked, “We thank the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their successful teamwork in holding cybercriminals accountable for what they have done.”

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