Pimentel files resolution calling for Senate probe of BPI computer glitch
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has formally asked the Senate to look into the Bank of the Philippines’ (BPI) computer glitch last June 7 that led to discrepancies in bank account balances of some of its clients.
In Senate Resolution No. 403, which he filed on Tuesday, Pimentel sought the probe by the Senate Committe on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, which is chaired by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, and other appropriate committees.
“Considering that the banking sytem has become an indispensable institution in the modern world that plays a vital role in the economic life of every civilized society, a probe by the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines should be held to look into the safeguards against injury to the banking public attributable to the negligence of banks which need to be studies and enacted into legislation,” Pimentel said in his resolution.
BPI officials ruled out hacking as the cause of the glitch, saying its system only encountered an “internal data processing error.”
But Pimentel said a number of BPI account holders found BPI’s explanation of the June 7 incident “unsatisfactory, lacking in details, and shrouded in mysterious technical terms like ‘internal data processing error.’”
“Although this inquiry has been prompted by the experience of only one bank, there is a need to find out if other banks and our entire banking system are vulnerable to the same phenomenon as what struck BPI this early June 2017,” he said.
“Banks handle daily transactions involving billions of pesos. By nature of their work, the highest degree of responsibility, care and trustworthiness are expected of banks. They are required to treat the accounts and deposits of their clinets with meticulous care,” he added.
Besides, Pimente said, it was not the first time that BPI clients complained of unathorized withdrawals.
He pointed out that in 2015, incidents of automated teller machine (ATM) card skimming involving BPI ATMs in various parts in Metro Manila and as far as Bacolod were reported that resulted in unauthorized withdrawals. /atm
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