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BAR Q&A FOR BANKING LAW


G ENERAL BANKING LAW

OF

Industrial Development Corp v. Court of Appeals,


supra).

2000 (R.A. N O. 8791)

1. Q: There are six (6) classes of banks identified


in the General Banking Law of 2000. Name at
least four (4) of them and explain the
distinguishing characteristic or function of
each one. (2002, 2010)
MN and OP rented a safety deposit box at SIBANK.
The parties signed a contract of lease with the
conditions that: the bank is not a depository of the
contents of the safe and has neither the possession
nor control of the same; the bank assumed no interest
in said contents and assumes no liability in connection
therewith. The safety deposit box had two keyholes:
one for the guard key which remained with the bank;
and the other for the renters' key. The box can be
opened only with the use of both keys. The renters
deposited certificates of title in the box. But later, they
discovered that the certificates were gone. MN and OP
now claim for damages from SIBANK. Is the bank
liable? Explain briefly.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The bank is liable, based on the decisions of the
Supreme Court in CA Agro-Industrial Development
Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 219 SCRA 426 (1993) and
Sia v. Court of Appeals, 222 SCRA 24 (1993). In those
cases, the Supreme Court ruled that the renting out of
safety deposit boxes is a "special kind of
deposit" wherein the bank is the depositary. In the
absence of any stipulation prescribing the degree of
diligence required, that of a good father of a family is to
be observed by the depositary. Any stipulation
exempting the depositary from any liability arising from
the loss of the thing deposited would be void for being
contrary to law and public policy. The deposit box is
located in the bank premises and is under the absolute
control of the bank.

4. Q: Differentiate "bank deposits" from "deposit


substitutes." (2010)
Bank deposits are funds obtained by a bank from the
public which are relent by such bank to its own
borrowers.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Deposit substitutes are alternative forms of obtaining
funds from the public, other than deposits, through the
issuance, endorsement, or acceptance of debt
instruments for the own account of the borrower, for
the purpose of relending or purchasing of receivables
and othe robligations. These instruments may include,
but need not be limited to, bankers acceptances,
promissory
notes, participations,
certificates
of
assignment and similar instruments with recourse, and
repurchase agreements (Section 95,Rep. Act No.
7653, The New CentralBank Act).
5. Q: Why are banks required to maintain
reserves against their deposits and deposit
substitutes? State one of three purposes for
these reserves. (2010)
Any one of the following 4 purposes for requiring
banks to maintain reserves against their deposits and
deposit substitutes will suffice:
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) One of the purposes of the requirement to maintain
bank reserves is to control the volume of money
created by the credit operations of the banking system
(2) It is to enable the banks to answer any withdrawal;
(3) To help Government to finance its operation;
(4) To help the Government control money supply.

2. Q: How do you characterize the legal


relationship between a commercial bank and
its safety deposit box client? (2010)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The relationship between a commercial bank and its
safety deposit box client is that of a bailee and bailor,
the bailment being for hire and mutual benefit.
3. Q: Is a stipulation in the contract for the use of
a safety deposit box relieving the bank of
liability in connection with the use thereof
valid? (2010)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The stipulation relieving the bank of liability in
connection with the use of the safety deposit box is
void as it is against law and public policy (CA Agro-

:
6 .Q: The Monetary Board of the BSP closed Urban
Bank after it encountered crippling financial difficulties
that resulted in a bank run. X, one of the members of
the BOD of the bank, attended and stayed throughout
the entire meeting of the Board that was held well in
advance of the bank run and before news had begun
to trickle to the business community about the dire
financial pit the bank had fallen into. Immediately after
the meeting, X caused the preparation and issuance of
a managers check payable to himself in the sum of 5
million pesos equivalent to the amount placed or
invested in the bank by a business acquaintance. He
now claims that he is keeping the funds in trust for the
owner and that he had committed no violation of the
General Banking Act (RA 337, as amended) for which
he should be punished. Do you agree that there has
been no violation of the statute? (2000)

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SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. I do not agree that there is no violation of the
statute (RA 337, as amended). X violated Sec 85 when
he caused the preparation and issuance of a
managers check payable to himself in the sum of P5
million. This is paying out or permitting to be paid out
funds of the bank after the latter became insolvent.
This act is penalized by fine of not less than P1,000.00
nor more than P10,000.00 and by imprisonment for not
less than two nor more than ten years.

governed primarily by the Thrift Banks Act of


1995 (RA 7906).

A.

5. Cooperative Banks these are those


which are organized primarily to provide
financial and credit services to cooperatives
and whose operations are primarily governed
by the Cooperative Code of the Philippines
(RA 6938).

RESTRICTIONS ON BANK EXPOSURE


(DIRECTORS , O FFICERS , STOCKHOLDERS
AND THEIR RELATED INTERESTS )

TO

DOSRI

7. Q: As part of the safeguards against


imprudent banking, the General Banking
Law imposes limits or restrictions on loans
and credit accommodations which may be
extended by banks. Identify at least two
(2) of these limits or restrictions and
explain the rationale of each of them.
(2002)
8. Q: There are six (6) classes of banks
identified in the General Banking Law
of 2000. Name at least four (4) of them
and
explain
the
distinguishing
characteristic or function of each
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1. Universal Banks These are those which
used to be called expanded commercial banks
and the operations of which are now primarily
governed by the General Banking Law of
2002. They can exercise the powers of an
investment house and invest in non-allied
enterprises.
They
have
the
highest
capitalization requirement.
2. Commercial Banks These are ordinary or
regular commercial banks, as distinguished
from a universal bank. They have a lower
capitalization requirement than universal
banks and cannot exercise the powers of an
investment house and invest in non-allied
enterprises.
3. Thrift Banks These banks (such as
savings and mortgage banks, stock savings
and
loan
associations,
and
private
development banks) may exercise most of the
powers and functions of a commercial bank
except that they cannot, among others, open
current or check accounts without prior
Monetary Board approval, and they cannot
issue letters of credit. Their operations are

4. Rural Banks these are those which are


organized primarily to extend loans and other
credit facilities to farmers, fishermen or farm
families, as well as cooperatives, merchants,
and private and public employees and whose
operations are primarily governed by the Rural
Banks Act of 1992 (

6. Islamic Banks these are those which are


organized primarily to provide financial and
credit services in a manner or transaction
consistent with the Islamic Shariah. At
present, only the Al Amanah Islamic
Investment Bank of the Philippines has been
organized as an Islamic Bank.
9. Q: Pio is the president of Western Bank.
His wife applied for a loan with the said
bank to finance an internet cafe. The loan
officer told her that her application will not
be approved because the grant of loans to
related interests of bank directors, officers,
and stockholders is prohibited by the
General Banking Law. Explain whether the
loan officer is correct. (2006)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Section 36 of the General Banking Law of 2000 does
not entirely prohibit directors or officers of the bank,
directly or indirectly, from borrowing from the bank. In
this case, Pio is the president of Western Bank, which
makes him an officer, director and stockholder of the
said bank. The General Banking Law provides for
additional restrictions to the bank before it can lend to
its directors or officers. A written approval of the
majority vote of all the directors of the bank, excluding
the director concerned, is required. Furthermore, such
dealings must be upon terms not less favorable to the
bank than those offered to others (Section 1326,
Central Bank's "Manual of Regulations for Banks and
Other Financial Intermediaries, cited in Ranioso v. CA,
G.R. No. 117416, December 8, 2000). A violation of
this provision will cause his or her position to be
declared vacant and the erring director or officer
subjected to the penal provisions of the New Central
Bank Act.
10. Q: Industry Bank, which has a net worth of P1
Billion, extended a loan to Celestial Properties Inc.
amounting to P270 Million. The loan was secured by a

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mortgage over a vast commercial lot in the Fort
Bonifacio Global City, appraised at P350 Million. After
audit, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas gave notice that
the loan to Celestial Properties exceeded the single
borrower's limit of 25% of the bank's net worth
under a recent BSP Circular. In light of other previous
similar violations of the credit limit requirement, the
BSP advised Industry Bank to reduce the amount of
the loan to Celestial Properties under pain of severe
sanctions. When Industry Bank informed Celestial
Properties that it intended to reduce the loan by P50
Million, Celestial Properties countered that the bank
should first release a part of the collateral worth P50
Million. Industry Bank rejected the counter-proposal,
and reffered the matter to you as counsel. How would
you advise Industry Bank to proceed, with its best
interest in mind? (2008)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
I Shall advise Industry Bank that the mortgage is
indivisible. Therefore, Celestial Properties cannot ask
for a partial release of the mortgage so long as the
loan has not been completely paid. (Art 2089, Civil
Code)
11. Q: Banks: Applicability: Foreign Currency
Deposit Act & Secrecy of Bank Deposits (2005)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Hi Yielding Corporation filed a complaint against five of
its officers for violation of Section 31 of the Corporation
Code. The corporation claimed that the said officers
were guilty of advancing their personal interests to the
prejudice of the corporation, and that they were grossly
negligent in handling its affairs. Aside from documents
and contracts, the corporation also submitted in
evidence records of the officers U.S. Dollar deposits in
several banks overseas - Boston Bank, Bank of
Switzerland, and Bank of New York. For their part, the
officers filed a criminal complaint against the directors
of Hi Yielding Corporation for violation of Republic Act
No. 6426, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency
Deposit Act of the Philippines. The officers alleged that
their bank deposits were illegally disclosed for want of
a court order, and that such deposits were not even
the subject of the case against them.
a) Will the complaint filed against the directors of Hi
Yielding Corporation prosper? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, because the Foreign Currency Deposit Act (R.A.
No. 6426), including its punitive provisions, refers to
foreign currency deposits accounts constituted within
the Philippines. It has no application at all to accounts,
even though they are banks, opened and constituted
abroad.
b) Was there a violation of the Secrecy of Bank
Deposits Law (Republic Act No. 1405)? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, because the punitive provisions of the Secrecy of

Bank Deposits Law (R.A. No. 1405), including the


statutory exemptions provided therein, are not
applicable to FCDU accounts, even when constituted
locally.
12. Q: Banks; Secrecy of Bank Deposit; AMLC
(2006)
Rudy is jobless but is reputed to be a jueteng operator.
He has never been charged or convicted of any crime.
He maintains several bank accounts and has
purchased 5 houses and lots for his children from the
Luansing Realty, Inc. Since he does not have any
visible job, the company reported his purchases to the
Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). Thereafter,
AMLC charged him with violation of the Anti-Money
Laundering Law. Upon request of the AMLC, the bank
disclosed to it Rudy's bank deposits amounting to
P100 Million. Subsequently, he was charged in court
for violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Law.
1. Can Rudy move to dismiss the case on the
ground that he has no criminal record?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. Under the Anti-Money Laundering Law, Rudy
would be guilty of a "money laundering crime"
committed when the proceeds of an "unlawful activity,"
like jueteng operations, are made to appear as having
originated from legitimate sources. The money
laundering crime is separate from the unlawful activity
of being a jueteng operator, and requires no previous
conviction for the unlawful activity (See also Sec. 3,
Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001).
2. To raise funds for his defense, Rudy sold the
houses and lots to a friend. Can Luansing
Realty, Inc. be compelled to transfer to the
buyer ownership of the houses and lots
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Luansing Realty, Inc. is a real estate company, hence it
is not a covered institution under Section 3 of the AntiMoney Laundering Act. Only banking institutions,
insurance companies, securities dealers and brokers,
pre-need companies and other entities administering
or otherwise dealing in currency, commodities or
financial derivatives are covered institutions. Hence,
Luansing Realty, Inc. may not use the Anti-Money
Laundering Act to refuse to transfer to the buyer
ownership of the houses and lots.
3. In disclosing Rudy's bank accounts to the
AMLC, did the bank violate any law?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the bank did not violate any law. The bank
being specified as a "covered institution" under
the Anti-Money Laundering Law, is obliged to

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report to the AMLC covered and suspicious
transactions, without thereby violating any law.
This is one of the exceptions to the Secrecy of
Bank Deposit Act.
4. the titles of the houses and lots are in
possession of the Luansing Realty, Inc., is it
under obligation to deliver the titles to Rudy?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, it has an obligation to deliver titles to Rudy. As
Luansing Realty, Inc. is not a covered institution
under Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act,
it may not invoke this law to refuse delivery of the
titles to Rudy.
13. Q: Banks; Secrecy of Bank Deposit; Exceptions
(2006)
Under Republic Act No.1405 (The Bank Secrecy Law),
bank deposits are considered absolutely confidential
and may not be examined, inquired or looked into by
any person, government official, bureau or office. What
are the exceptions

The exceptions to the Bank Secrecy Law are the


following:
1.
Special or general examination of a bank,
authorized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas'
Monetary Board, in connection with a bank fraud or
serious irregularity.
2.
Examination by an independent Auditor, hired
by the Bank and for the Bank's exclusive use.
3.
Disclosure with the Depositor's written
permission.
1 In case of Impeachment.
2 In cases of Bribery or dereliction of duty by a
Public Officer, upon order of a competent court.
In cases of money deposited/invested which, in turn, is
the subject of Litigation, upon order of a competent
Court.\
4.
DOSRI Loans: Loans with their Banks of Bank
Directors, Officers, Stockholders and related interests.
1

Loans in excess of 5% of the Bank's Capital &


Surplus
2 The Borrower waived his right as regards the
Secrecy of Bank Deposits
5.
Violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act.
6.
Coup d' etat Law