RCBC prexy Lorenzo Tan resigns, RCBC Board clears him of any wrongdoing

By , on May 7, 2016

(Photo: RCBC's Facebook page)
(Photo: RCBC’s Facebook page)

MANILA – The Board of Directors of the Yuchengo-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has accepted the resignation of its president and chief executive officer (CEO), Lorenzo V. Tan.

This even as the RCBC Board has cleared Tan, whose resignation takes effect May 6, 2016, of any participation in the money laundering involving its Jupiter-Makati branch.

“An internal investigation into the alleged USD 81 million money laundering had cleared Mr. Tan of any breach of bank rules and policies. He resigned to give the Board a free hand in directing the course of the Bank’s future,” the bank said in a statement Friday.

Tan was accused by RCBC Jupiter-Makati branch manager Maia Deguito as the one who told her to accommodate casino junket operator Kim Wong, who allegedly received part of the USD 81 million allegedly stolen from the account of Bangladesh Bank (BB) with the Federal Reserve of New York in February 2016 and laundered in the Philippines.

He, who joined RCBC in 2007 as president and CEO, went on leave last March as the investigation on the alleged money laundering activity is underway.

He was replaced by RCBC Chair Helen Y. Dee, whom the bank said would continue to “oversee the bank’s operations, as President and CEO, supported by a management team composed of RCBC Vice-Chairman Mr. Cesar EA Virata and Director Mr. Armando Medina and the current group of senior managers. “

The statement said under Tan’s watch, RCBC posted unprecedented growth as proven by the rise in the number of its automated teller machines (ATMs) to 1,405; branches to 475; customer base to 7.32 million; and net income to Php 5.1 billion.

In a statement, Tan said he was “confident the bank will continue on the path of growth, with the strong and capable hands of senior management led by Mrs. Dee.”

Even if he has been cleared from any participation in the unauthorized transfer of the funds stolen from Bangladesh Bank, Tan said that “as President and CEO of RCBC, I take full moral responsibility for this sad incident in the history of the bank.”

“With a heavy heart, I feel the time has come for me to move on and provide my services elsewhere. I leave the Bank content and fulfilled, knowing that I served the company with the kind of principled leadership it deserves,” he said.

He noted that “as shown by RCBC’s own investigation, the allegations of my involvement in the current money-laundering issue are unfounded and baseless.”

“Despite my resignation, however, I am committed to help uncover the truth, not only to clear my name but also to bring justice to the Bangladeshi people,” he added.

Tan has filed civil and criminal charges against Deguito and her lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, for libel and perjury after they named him as the mastermind of the money laundering activity.