Depositors say ‘Let RCBC heal’

Depositors of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) appealed to observers not to prejudge the institution on the money laundering (ML) incident where it was one of the lead victims.

The depositors, one of whom is from Cebu City who has proven the bank's reliability on microloans, said the bank "is now healing."

She said there are no solid evidences that the bank played a key role in the $81-million cyber heist.

"Let RCBC heal. No bank ownership or leadership wants an operational lapse. Stop destroying the confidence of its depositors and customers," one of the customers, who requsted not to be named, told the Daily Tribune in its branch in Chinatown, explained.

The depositor said she is basing her thoughts on an online news entity, Mindanation, that says RCBC and its depositors, not Bangladesh, are the victims of this "wide-scale, organized attack on the world's financial institutions."

RCBC appears to be a fall guy in this wide scale fraud while those who have orchestrated the crime are laughing their way to the bank, as what the article suggests.

"Various cyber-security experts who looked into the Bangladesh incident said the crime "may be impossible to solve or trace," and that the hackers "may have been lurking inside the bank systems for months before they were detected.

In response, Swift also issued a warning where it pointed to the possibility "that the thieves may have been able to recruit bank employees to hand over credentials and other key details.

"The attackers clearly exhibit a deep and sophisticated knowledge of specific operation controls within the targeted banks - knowledge that may have been gained from malicious insiders or cybera attacks, or a combination of both.

Experts also clarified that the core messaging system of Swift - the supposedly secure heart of their payment network - was not breached in the attack.

Instead, the criminals were able to illegally transfer the funds by attacking the Bangladesh bank's connections to the network and taking advantage of its bargain basement technology that still relied on a "$10 router and an absence of firewalls," says the article that came out last week.

Another depositor said Bangladesh should not generalize the Philippine banking as lengthy Senate hearings said the bank's participation in the ML was not established.

"It just recovered from the Senate hearings. Let the judicial system help Bangladesh recover their funds. Stop shaking the confidence on our banking system," the other depositor said.

RCBC, the 6th biggest unibank in the Philippines in assets at over P500 billion, has a solid reputation of helping SMEs whose owners are now among of the country's biggest entreprenuers.

Among its clients who are now among the most successful businessmen are Lucio Co, chairman of PBCom and Puregold; and Suy Sing, a giant grocer.

Source: Daily Tribune