March 9, 2016 / 10:24 AM / 2 years ago

Philippines' Rizal Commercial Banking probes suspected money laundering

MANILA, March 9 (Reuters) - The Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) said on Wednesday it is investigating an $81 million deposit at one of its branches on suspicion of money laundering.

The announcement came after the Philippine Daily Inquirer last month reported millions of dollars stolen by hackers from a Bangladeshi financial institution had entered the Philippines via a branch of the mid-sized lender. (

Following the report, the head of the Philippine senate’s anti-graft committee, Teofisto Guingona, set up a government investigation, while the chief of the financial institutions committee, Sergio Osmena, called for stronger anti-money laundering laws.

On Monday, Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, said its account at the U.S. Federal Reserve had been hacked and money stolen, and that some funds were recovered in the Philippines.

The New York Fed, which manages the account, said its systems had not been breached. It declined to say whether funds had been drained from the account citing client confidentiality.

RCBC, part owned by Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holding Co Ltd , closed almost 2 percent lower on the Philippine Stock Exchange before the bank’s announcement, versus a 0.5 percent gain in the broader market. (Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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