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The New Central Bank Act (RA 7653)



SECTION 22. Research and Statistics. — The Bangko Sentral shall prepare data and conduct economic research for the guidance of the Monetary Board in the formulation and implementation of its policies. Such data shall include, among others, forecasts of the balance of payments of the Philippines, statistics on the monthly movement of the monetary aggregates and of prices and other statistical series and economic studies useful for the formulation and analysis of monetary, banking, credit and exchange policies.

SECTION 23. Authority to Obtain Data and Information. — The Bangko Sentral shall have the authority to request from government offices and instrumentalities, or government-owned or controlled corporations, any data which it may require for the proper discharge of its functions and responsibilities. The Bangko Sentral through the Governor or in his absence, a duly authorized representative shall have the power to issue a subpoena for the production of the books and records for the aforesaid purpose. Those supply the bank with data requested or required, shall be subject to punishment for contempt in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court.

Data on individual firms, other than banks, gathered by the Department of Economic Research and other departments or units of the Bangko Sentral shall not be made available to any person or entity outside of the Bangko Sentral whether public or private except under order of the court or under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Monetary Board: Provided, however, That the collective data on firms may be released to interested persons or entities: Provided, finally, That in the case of data on banks, the provisions of Section 27 of this Act shall apply.

SECTION 24. Training of Technical Personnel. — The Bangko Sentral shall promote and sponsor the training of technical personnel in the field of money and banking. Toward this end, the Bangko Sentral is hereby authorized to defray the costs of study, at home or abroad, of qualified employees of the Bangko Sentral, of promising university graduates or of any other qualified persons who shall be determined by proper competitive examinations. The Monetary Board shall prescribe rules and regulations to govern the training program of the Bangko Sentral.

SECTION 25. Supervision and Examination. — The Bangko Sentral shall have supervision over, and conduct periodic or special examinations of, banking institutions and quasi-banks, including their subsidiaries and affiliates engaged in allied activities.

For purposes of this section, a subsidiary means a corporation more than fifty percent (50%) of the voting stock of which is owned by a bank or quasi-bank and an affiliate means a corporation the voting stock of which, to the extent of fifty percent (50%) or less, is owned by a bank or quasi-bank or which is related or linked to such institution or intermediary through common stockholders or such other factors as may be determined by the Monetary Board.

The department heads and the examiners of the supervising and/or examining departments are hereby authorized to administer oaths to any director, officer, or employee of any institution under their respective supervision or subject to their examination and to compel the presentation of all books, documents, papers or records necessary in their judgment to ascertain the facts relative to the true condition of any institution as well as the books and records of persons and entities relative to or in connection with the operations, activities or transactions of the institution under examination, subject to the provision of existing laws protecting or safeguarding the secrecy or confidentiality of bank deposits as well as investments of private persons, natural or juridical, in debt instruments issued by the Government.

No restraining order or injunction shall be issued by the court enjoining the Bangko Sentral from examining any institution subject to supervision or examination by the Bangko Sentral, unless there is convincing proof that the action of the Bangko Sentral is plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith and the petitioner or plaintiff files with the clerk or judge of the court in which the action is pending a bond executed in favor of the Bangko Sentral, in an amount to be fixed by the court. The provisions of Rule 58 of the New Rules of Court insofar as they are applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions of this section shall govern the issuance and dissolution of the restraining order or injunction contemplated in this section.

SECTION 26. Bank Deposits and Investments. — Any director, officer or stockholder who, together with his related interest, contracts a loan or any form of financial accommodation from: (1) his bank; or (2) from a bank (a) which is a subsidiary of a bank holding company of which both his bank and the lending bank are subsidiaries or (b) in which a controlling proportion of the shares is owned by the same interest that owns a controlling proportion of the shares of his bank, in excess of five percent (5%) of the capital and surplus of the bank, or in the maximum amount permitted by law, whichever is lower, shall be required by the lending bank to waive the secrecy of his deposits of whatever nature in all banks in the Philippines. Any information obtained from an examination of his deposits shall be held strictly confidential and may be used by the examiners only in connection with their supervisory and examination responsibility or by the Bangko Sentral in an appropriate legal action it has initiated involving the deposit account.

SECTION 27. Prohibitions. — In addition to the prohibitions found in Republic Act Nos. 3019 and 6713, personnel of the Bangko Sentral are hereby prohibited from:

(a) being an officer, director, lawyer or agent, employee, consultant or stockholder, directly or indirectly, of any institution subject to supervision or examination by the Bangko Sentral, except non-stock savings and loan associations and provident funds organized exclusively for employees of the Bangko Sentral, and except as otherwise provided in this Act;

(b) directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or pecuniary or material benefit for himself or another, from any institution subject to supervision or examination by the Bangko Sentral;

(c) revealing in any manner, except under orders of the court, the Congress or any government office or agency authorized by law, or under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Monetary Board, information relating to the condition or business of any institution. This prohibition shall not be held to apply to the giving of information to the Monetary Board or the Governor of the Bangko Sentral, or to any person authorized by either of them, in writing, to receive such information; and

(d) borrowing from any institution subject to supervision or examination by the Bangko Sentral shall be prohibited unless said borrowings are adequately secured, fully disclosed to the Monetary Board, and shall be subject to such further rules and regulations as the Monetary Board may prescribe: Provided, however, That personnel of the supervising and examining departments are prohibited from borrowing from a bank under their supervision or examination.

SECTION 28. Examination and Fees. — The supervising and examining department head, personally or by deputy, shall examine the books of every banking institution once in every twelve (12) months, and at such other times as the Monetary Board by an affirmative vote of five (5) members, may deem expedient and to make a report on the same to the Monetary Board: Provided, That there shall be an interval of at least twelve (12) months between annual examinations.

The bank concerned shall afford to the head of the appropriate supervising and examining departments and to his authorized deputies full opportunity to examine its books, cash and available assets and general condition at any time during banking hours when requested to do so by the Bangko Sentral: Provided, however, That none of the reports and other papers relative to such examinations shall be open to inspection by the public except insofar as such publicity is incidental to the proceedings hereinafter authorized or is necessary for the prosecution of violations in connection with the business of such institutions.

Banking and quasi-banking institutions which are subject to examination by the Bangko Sentral shall pay to the Bangko Sentral, within the first thirty (30) days of each year, an annual fee in an amount equal to a percentage as may be prescribed by the Monetary Board of its average total assets during the preceding year as shown on its end-of-month balance sheets, after deducting cash on hand and amounts due from banks, including the Bangko Sentral and banks abroad.

SECTION 29. Appointment of Conservator. — Whenever, on the basis of a report submitted by the appropriate supervising or examining department, the Monetary Board finds that a bank or a quasi-bank is in a state of continuing inability or unwillingness to maintain a condition of liquidity deemed adequate to protect the interest of depositors and creditors, the Monetary Board may appoint a conservator with such powers as the Monetary Board shall deem necessary to take charge of the assets, liabilities, and the management thereof, reorganize the management, collect all monies and debts due said institution, and exercise all powers necessary to restore its viability. The conservator shall report and be responsible to the Monetary Board and shall have the power to overrule or revoke the actions of the previous management and board of directors of the bank or quasi-bank.

The conservator should be competent and knowledgeable in bank operations and management. The conservatorship shall not exceed one (1) year.

The conservator shall receive remuneration to be fixed by the Monetary Board in an amount not to exceed two-thirds (2/3) of the salary of the president of the institution in one (1) year, payable in twelve (12) equal monthly payments: Provided, That, if at any time within one-year period, the conservatorship is terminated on the ground that the institution can operate on its own, the conservator shall receive the balance of the remuneration which he would have received up to the end of the year; but if the conservatorship is terminated on other grounds, the conservator shall not be entitled to such remaining balance. The Monetary Board may appoint a conservator connected with the Bangko Sentral, in which case he shall not be entitled to receive any remuneration or emolument from the Bangko Sentral during the conservatorship. The expenses attendant to the conservatorship shall be borne by the bank or quasi-bank concerned.

The Monetary Board shall terminate the conservatorship when it is satisfied that the institution can continue to operate on its own and the conservatorship is no longer necessary. The conservatorship shall likewise be terminated should the Monetary Board, on the basis of the report of the conservator or of its own findings, determine that the continuance in business of the institution would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors, in which case the provisions of Section 30 shall apply.

SECTION 30. Proceedings in Receivership and Liquidation. — Whenever, upon report of the head of the supervising or examining department, the Monetary Board finds that a bank or quasi-bank:

(a) is unable to pay its liabilities as they become due in the ordinary course of business: Provided, That this shall not include inability to pay caused by extraordinary demands induced by financial panic in the banking community;

(b) has insufficient realizable assets, as determined by the Bangko Sentral, to meet its liabilities; or

(c) cannot continue in business without involving probable losses to its depositors or creditors; or

(d) has willfully violated a cease and desist order under Section 37 that has become final, involving acts or transactions which amount to fraud or a dissipation of the assets of the institution; in which cases, the Monetary Board may summarily and without need for prior hearing forbid the institution from doing business in the Philippines and designate the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver of the banking institution.

For a quasi-bank, any person of recognized competence in banking or finance may be designed as receiver.

The receiver shall immediately gather and take charge of all the assets and liabilities of the institution, administer the same for the benefit of its creditors, and exercise the general powers of a receiver under the Revised Rules of Court but shall not, with the exception of administrative expenditures, pay or commit any act that will involve the transfer or disposition of any asset of the institution: Provided, That the receiver may deposit or place the funds of the institution in non-speculative investments. The receiver shall determine as soon as possible, but not later than ninety (90) days from take over, whether the institution may be rehabilitated or otherwise placed in such a condition so that it may be permitted to resume business with safety to its depositors and creditors and the general public: Provided, That any determination for the resumption of business of the institution shall be subject to prior approval of the Monetary Board.

If the receiver determines that the institution cannot be rehabilitated or permitted to resume business in accordance with the next preceding paragraph, the Monetary Board shall notify in writing the board of directors of its findings and direct the receiver to proceed with the liquidation of the institution. The receiver shall:

(1) file ex parte with the proper regional trial court, and without requirement of prior notice or any other action, a petition for assistance in the liquidation of the institution pursuant to a liquidation plan adopted by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation for general application to all closed banks. In case of quasi-banks, the liquidation plan shall be adopted by the Monetary Board. Upon acquiring jurisdiction, the court shall, upon motion by the receiver after due notice, adjudicate disputed claims against the institution, assist the enforcement of individual liabilities of the stockholders, directors and officers, and decide on other issues as may be material to implement the liquidation plan adopted. The receiver shall pay the cost of the proceedings from the assets of the institution.

(2) convert the assets of the institutions to money, dispose of the same to creditors and other parties, for the purpose of paying the debts of such institution in accordance with the rules on concurrence and preference of credit under the Civil Code of the Philippines and he may, in the name of the institution, and with the assistance of counsel as he may retain, institute such actions as may be necessary to collect and recover accounts and assets of, or defend any action against, the institution. The assets of an institution under receivership or liquidation shall be deemed in custodia legis in the hands of the receiver and shall, from the moment the institution was placed under such receivership or liquidation, be exempt from any order of garnishment, levy, attachment, or execution.

The actions of the Monetary Board taken under this section or under Section 29 of this Act shall be final and executory, and may not be restrained or set aside by the court except on petition for certiorari on the ground that the action taken was in excess of jurisdiction or with such grave abuse of discretion as to amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The petition for certiorari may only be filed by the stockholders of record representing the majority of the capital stock within ten (10) days from receipt by the board of directors of the institution of the order directing receivership, liquidation or conservatorship.

The designation of a conservator under Section 29 of this Act or the appointment of a receiver under this section shall be vested exclusively with the Monetary Board. Furthermore, the designation of a conservator is not a precondition to the designation of a receiver.

SECTION 31. Distribution of Assets. — In case of liquidation of a bank or quasi-bank, after payment of the cost of proceedings, including reasonable expenses and fees of the receiver to be allowed by the court, the receiver shall pay the debts of such institution, under order of the court, in accordance with the rules on concurrence and preference of credit as provided in the Civil Code.

SECTION 32. Disposition of Revenues and Earnings. — All revenues and earnings realized by the receiver in winding up the affairs and administering the assets of any bank or quasi-bank within the purview of this Act shall be used to pay the costs, fees and expenses mentioned in the preceding section, salaries of such personnel whose employment is rendered necessary in the discharge of the liquidation together with other additional expenses caused thereby. The balance of revenues and earnings, after the payment of all said expenses, shall form part of the assets available for payment to creditors.

SECTION 33. Disposition of Banking Franchise. — The Bangko Sentral may, if public interest so requires, award to an institution, upon such terms and conditions as the Monetary Board may approve, the banking franchise of a bank under liquidation to operate in the area where said bank or its branches were previously operating: Provided, That whatever proceeds may be realized from such award shall be subject to the appropriate exclusive disposition of the Monetary Board.

SECTION 34. Refusal to Make Reports or Permit Examination. — Any officer, owner, agent, manager, director or officer-in-charge of any institution subject to the supervision or examination by the Bangko Sentral within the purview of this Act who, being required in writing by the Monetary Board or by the head of the supervising and examining department willfully refuses to file the required report or permit any lawful examination into the affairs of such institution shall be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) nor more than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) or by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

SECTION 35. False Statement. — The willful making of a false or misleading statement on a material fact to the Monetary Board or to the examiners of the Bangko Sentral shall be punished by a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) nor more than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000), or by imprisonment of not more than (5) years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

SECTION 36. Proceedings Upon Violation of This Act and Other Banking Laws, Rules, Regulations, Orders or Instructions. — Whenever a bank or quasi-bank, or whenever any person or entity willfully violates this Act or other pertinent banking laws being enforced or implemented by the Bangko Sentral or any order, instruction, rule or regulation issued by the Monetary Board, the person or persons responsible for such violation shall unless otherwise provided in this Act be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) nor more than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000) or by imprisonment of not less than two (2) years nor more than ten (10) years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

Whenever a bank or quasi-bank persists in carrying on its business in an unlawful or unsafe manner, the Board may, without prejudice to the penalties provided in the preceding paragraph of this section and the administrative sanctions provided in Section 37 of this Act, take action under Section 30 of this Act.

SECTION 37. Administrative Sanctions on Banks and Quasi-banks. — Without prejudice to the criminal sanctions against the culpable persons provided in Sections 34, 35, and 36 of this Act, the Monetary Board may, at its discretion, impose upon any bank or quasi-bank, their directors and/or officers, for any willful violation of its charter or by-laws, willful delay in the submission of reports or publications thereof as required by law, rules and regulations; any refusal to permit examination into the affairs of the institution; any willful making of a false or misleading statement to the Board or the appropriate supervising and examining department or its examiners; any willful failure or refusal to comply with, or violation of, any banking law or any order, instruction or regulation issued by the Monetary Board, or any order, instruction or ruling by the Governor; or any commission of irregularities, and/or conducting business in an unsafe or unsound manner as may be determined by the Monetary Board, the following administrative sanctions, whenever applicable:

(a) fines in amounts as may be determined by the Monetary Board to be appropriate, but in no case to exceed Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000) a day for each violation, taking into consideration the attendant circumstances, such as the nature and gravity of the violation or irregularity and the size of the bank or quasi-bank;

(b) suspension of rediscounting privileges or access to Bangko Sentral credit facilities;

(c) suspension of lending or foreign exchange operations or authority to accept new deposits or make new investments;

(d) suspension of interbank clearing privileges; and/or

(e) revocation of quasi-banking license.

Resignation or termination from office shall not exempt such director or officer from administrative or criminal sanctions.

The Monetary Board may, whenever warranted by circumstances, preventively suspend any director or officer of a bank or quasi-bank pending an investigation: Provided, That should the case be not finally decided by the Bangko Sentral within a period of one hundred twenty (120) days after the date of suspension, said director or officer shall be reinstated in his position: Provided, further, That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the director or officer, the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided.

The above administrative sanctions need not be applied in the order of their severity.

Whether or not there is an administrative proceeding, if the institution and/or the directors and/or officers concerned continue with or otherwise persist in the commission of the indicated practice or violation, the Monetary Board may issue an order requiring the institution and/or the directors and/or officers concerned to cease and desist from the indicated practice or violation, and may further order that immediate action be taken to correct the conditions resulting from such practice or violation. The cease and desist order shall be immediately effective upon service on the respondents.

The respondents shall be afforded an opportunity to defend their action in a hearing before the Monetary Board or any committee chaired by any Monetary Board member created for the purpose, upon request made by the respondents within five (5) days from their receipt of the order. If no such hearing is requested within said period, the order shall be final. If a hearing is conducted, all issues shall be determined on the basis of records, after which the Monetary Board may either reconsider or make final its order.

The Governor is hereby authorized, at his discretion, to impose upon banking institutions, for any failure to comply with the requirements of law, Monetary Board regulations and policies, and/or instructions issued by the Monetary Board or by the Governor, fines not in excess of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000) a day for each violation, the imposition of which shall be final and executory until reversed, modified or lifted by the Monetary Board on appeal.

SECTION 38. Operating Departments of the Bangko Sentral. — The Monetary Board shall, in accordance with its authority under this Act, determine and provide for such operating departments and other offices, including a public information office, of the Bangko Sentral as it deems convenient for the proper and efficient conduct of the operations and the accomplishment of the objectives of the Bangko Sentral. The functions and duties of such operating departments and other offices shall be determined by the Monetary Board.