PDIC assures payment for depositors of closed rural bank in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/18 Dec.) — The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) assured on Wednesday it would settle all the covered deposit insurance claims of over 2,000 depositors of a rural bank here that was placed under receivership earlier this month due to insolvency.

Teresita Gonzales, officer-in-charge of the PDIC’s Asset Management and Disposal Group, said they already started the releases of the deposit claims of the initial depositors of the troubled Sarangani Rural Bank Inc. (SRBI) who availed of the agency’s settlement scheme.

She said they reopened the bank on Tuesday to facilitate the two-day claims settlement operations for deposits covered by its maximum deposit insurance of P500,000.

“The settlement only covered deposits that are within the maximum deposit insurance. Claims beyond that amount will have to be settled later on with the bank through its assets,” Gonzales said.

SRBI, which is considered one of the pioneering rural banks in the area, celebrated its 55th anniversary last August 18.

A bank information sheet posted at the website of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines identified its chairman and president as Francisco L. Laiz, Jr.

The bank has a total of 2,407 depositors, most of whom are vendors or stall operators at the city central public market and several small establishments located along P. Acharon Boulevard where it is based.

A PDIC statement noted that 99.99 percent of the bank’s deposit accounts have balances of P500,000 or less and are fully covered by deposit insurance.

It said SRBI’s total insured deposits amounted to P44.80 million or 98.3 percent of the total deposits.

Gonzales said they made the payout to deposits amounting to P50,000 and below through postal money order and bank checks for those within the P50,000 to P500,000 range.

The deposit payouts included a seven percent interest set by the agency.

After the settlement operations here on Wednesday, the official said the agency will still accept claims from other depositors but they will be required to file them at their central office.

The PDIC took over the bank’s “assets, records and affairs” last December 6 based on Resolution No. 2022 of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Monetary Board.

As the bank’s designated receiver, the PDIC was tasked to “determine as soon as possible, but not later than 90 days from takeover of the bank, whether the same may be rehabilitated or permitted to resume business.”

Gonzales confirmed that the bank’s closure was triggered by problems with its financial operations.

“Based on the BSP’s assessment, the bank’s estimated assets were no longer enough to cover or pay for its maturing obligations,” she said.

SRBI is so far the 18th rural bank in the country that was ordered closed and placed by the BSP under receivership this year due to insolvency.

Owing to this, Gonzales advised residents to be more cautious in selecting the banks where they would put in their investments.

She said the financial statements of major banks are usually published in various national newspapers.

Gonzales said residents should look out for banks that offer high interest rates for deposits or investments.

“The higher the interest rate, the riskier the investments,” she added. (MindaNews)