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CESAR V. AREZA vs. EXPRESS SAVINGS BANK, INC.

G.R. No. 176697; September 10, 2014


PEREZ, J.

DOCTRINE:
It is well-settled that the relationship of the depositors and the Bank or similar institution
is that of creditor-debtor. Article 1980 of the New Civil Code provides that fixed, savings and
current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions shall be governed by the provisions
concerning simple loans.

FACTS:
Petitioners Areza claimed that the Branch Manager of Respondent Express Savings Bank
offered their services for the processing and eventual crediting of the nine Philippine Veterans
Affairs Office checks they received from Gerry Mambuay who purchased two cars from their
business. Thereafter, petitioners deposited the said checks in their savings account with the said
Bank, which deposited the checks with its depositary bank, Equitable-PCI Bank, which presented
the checks to the drawee, the Philippine Veterans Bank, which honored the checks.

Sometime in year 2000, the respondent Bank was informed by Equitable-PCI Bank that
the drawee dishonored the checks on the ground of material alterations. Equitable-PCI Bank
initially filed a protest with the Philippine Clearing House which ruled in favor of the drawee
Philippine Veterans Bank and resulted to Equitable-PCI Bank act, it debited the deposit account
of the Bank in the amount of ₱1,800,000.00. Later, petitioners filed a complaint against the
respondent on the ground of respondent bank’s arbitrary and groundless dishonoring of their
checks and the unlawful and unilateral withdrawal from their savings account which arose from
the instance wherein petitioners issued a check, but was dishonored for the reason "Deposit Under
Hold" and the closure of the Special Savings Account of the petitioners and withdrawal of the
amount of ₱1,800,000.00 representing the returned checks from petitioners’ savings account.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Bank had the right to debit ₱1,800,000.00 from petitioners’ accounts.

RULING:
No, the respondent Bank cannot debit the savings account of petitioners. Under
Section 66 of the Negotiable Instruments Law, an endorser warrants "that the instrument is genuine
and in all respects what it purports to be; that he has good title to it; that all prior parties had
capacity to contract; and that the instrument is at the time of his endorsement valid and subsisting."
In the case at bar, respondent Bank and Equitable-PCI Bank are both depositary and collecting
banks and a depositary/collecting bank where a check is deposited, and which endorses the check
upon presentment with the drawee bank, is an endorser. In check transactions, the
depositary/collecting bank or last endorser generally suffers the loss because it has the duty to
ascertain the genuineness of all prior endorsements, if any of the warranties made by the
depositary/collecting bank turns out to be false, then the drawee bank may recover from it up to
the amount of the check. The Bank, as the depositary and collecting bank ultimately bears the loss.
CITIBANK N.A. VS SABENIANO
G.R. No. 156132 February 6, 2007
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.

DOCTRINE:
Compensation takes place by operation of law.

FACTS:
Citibank admitted that Sabeniano had deposits and money market placements with them,
including dollar accounts in other Citibank branches. However, they also alleged that respondent
later obtained several loans from Citibank, executed through Promissory Notes and secured by a
pledge on her dollar accounts, and a deed of assignment against her MMPS with FNCB Finance.
When Sabeniano defaulted, Citibank exercised its right to off-set or compensate respondent's
outstanding loans with her deposits and money market placements, pursuant to securities she
executed. Citibank supposedly informed Sabeniano of the foregoing compensation through letters,
thus, Citibank et al were surprised when six years later, Sabeniano and her counsel made repeated
requests for the withdrawal of respondent's deposits and MMPs with Citibank, including her dollar
accounts with Citibank-Geneva and her money market placements with petitioner FNCB Finance.

Sabeniano alleged that Citibank et al refused to return her deposits and the proceeds of her
money market placements despite her repeated demands, thus, the civil case for "Accounting, Sum
of Money and Damages.”

ISSUE:
Whether or not there was a valid off setting/compensation of loan with her deposit account.

RULING:
Yes. There is little controversy when it comes to the right of petitioner Citibank to
compensate respondent’s outstanding loans with her deposit account. As already found by this
Court, petitioner Citibank was the creditor of respondent for her outstanding loans. At the same
time, respondent was the creditor of petitioner Citibank, as far as her deposit account was
concerned, since bank deposits, whether fixed, savings, or current, should be considered as simple
loan or mutuum by the depositor to the banking institution. Both debts consist in sums of money.
By June 1979, all of respondent’s PNs in the second set had matured and became demandable,
while respondent’s savings account was demandable anytime. Neither was there any retention or
controversy over the PNs and the deposit account commenced by a third person and communicated
in due time to the debtor concerned. Compensation takes place by operation of law, therefore, even
in the absence of an expressed authority from respondent, petitioner Citibank had the right to
effect, on 25 June 1979, the partial compensation or off-set of respondent’s outstanding loans with
her deposit account, amounting to P31,079.14.
TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR. vs. THE CITY FISCAL OF MANILA
G.R. No. L-60033 April 4, 1984
MAKASIAR, Actg. C.J.

DOCTRINE:
A bank time or savings deposit constitutes a simple loan, not a contract of deposit.
Nonpayment of the said bank deposit does not constitute estafa.

FACTS:
Private respondent Clement David invested with the National Savings and Loan
Association (NSLA) placed deposits through the inducement of an Australian national who was
allegedly a close associate of petitioners herein. NSLA was then placed under receivership by the
Central Bank. David filed claims for his and his sister’s investments and received a report that only
a portion of the investments they claim were entered in the records of NSLA. David alleged that
there was misappropriation of funds and violation of Central Bank circulars, hence charged
petitioners herein with estafa. Petitioners moved to dismiss the charges on the ground that David’s
claims comprised a purely civil obligation which was itself novated.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the criminal complaint for estafa will prosper.

RULING:
No. It must be pointed out that when private respondent David invested his money on nine
and savings deposits with the aforesaid bank, the contract that was perfected was a contract of
simple loan or mutuum and not a contract of deposit. Hence, the relationship between the private
respondent and the Nation Savings and Loan Association is that of creditor and debtor;
consequently, the ownership of the amount deposited was transmitted to the Bank upon the
perfection of the contract and it can make use of the amount deposited for its banking operations,
such as to pay interests on deposits and to pay withdrawals. While the Bank has the obligation to
return the amount deposited, it has, however, no obligation to return or deliver the same money
that was deposited. And, the failure of the Bank to return the amount deposited will not constitute
estafa through misappropriation punishable under Article 315, par. l(b) of the Revised Penal Code,
but it will only give rise to civil liability over which the public respondents have no- jurisdiction.
FAR EAST BANK vs. QUERIMIT
GR No. 148582. January 16,2002
MENDOZA, J.

DOCTRINE:
A bank acts at its peril when it pays deposits evidenced by a certificate of deposit, without
its production and surrender after proper indorsement; Debtor has the burden of showing with legal
certainty that the obligation has been discharged by payment.

FACTS:
Respondent Estrella O. Querimit opened a dollar savings account in petitioner’s Harrison
Plaza Branch where she was issued four (4) certificates of Deposit with a total amount of
$60,000,00. The certificate were to mature in 60 days and were payable to bearer at 4.5% per
annum. The certificates bore the word accrued, which means if they were not presented for
encasement, the money deposited with accrued interest would be rolled over by the bank and
annual interest would accumulate automatically. In 1989, respondent accompanied her husband to
the US for medical treatment, and returned to the Philippines, after her husband’s death. She went
to petitioner FEBTC to withdraw her deposit but she was told that her husband had withdrawn the
money in deposit. Through a counsel, respondent requested for an update of her account but was
denied by the petitioner FEBTC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the subject certificates of deposit have already been paid by petitioner.

RULING:
No, the Court find the petition to be without merit, as the petitioner bank failed to prove
that it had already paid Estrella Querimit, the bearer and lawful holder of the subject certificates
of deposit.

A certificate of deposit is defined as a written acknowledgement by a bank or banker of the


receipt of a sum of money on deposit which the bank or banker promises to pay to the depositor,
to the order of the depositor or to some other person or his order, where by the relation of debtor
and creditor between the bank and the depositor is created. A bank acts at its peril when it pays
deposits evidenced by a certificate of deposit, without its production and surrender after proper
indorsement.

Petitioner failed to exercise that degree of diligence required by the nature of business. The
business of banks is impressed with public interest, the degree of diligence required of banks is
more than that of a good father of the family or of an ordinary business firm. The fiduciary nature
of their relationship with their depositors requires them to treat the accounts of their clients with
the highest degree of care. A bank is under obligation to treat the accounts of its depositors with
meticulous care whether such accounts consist only of a few hundred pesos or of millions of pesos.
BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS vs. TARCILA FERNANDEZ
G.R. No. 173134. September 02, 2015.
BRION, J.

DOCTRINE:
A certificate of deposit is defined as a written acknowledgment by a bank or banker of the
receipt of a sum of money on deposit which the bank or banker promises to pay to the depositor,
to the order of the depositor, or to some other person or his order, whereby the relation of debtor
and creditor between the bank and the depositor is created. In particular, the certificates of deposit
contain provisions on the amount of interest, period of maturity, and manner of termination.

FACTS:
The case arose from respondent Tarcila "Baby" Fernandez's (Tarcila) claim to her
proportionate share in the proceeds of four joint AND/OR accounts that the petitioner BPI released
to her estranged husband Manuel G. Fernandez (Manuel) without the presentation of the requisite
certificates of deposit

After the trial on the merits, the RTC of Makati ruled in favor of Tarcila, it opined that the
AND/OR nature of the accounts indicate an active solidarity that thus entitled any of the account
holders to demand from BPI payment of their proceeds. CA denied BPI’s appeal, it ruled that as a
co-depositor and a solidary creditor of joint "AND/OR" accounts, BPI did not enjoy the
prerogative to determine the source of the deposited funds and to refuse payment to Tarcila on this
basis. Hence the petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not BPI breached its obligations under the certificates of deposit.

RULING:
Yes, a certificate of deposit is defined as a written acknowledgment by a bank or banker of
the receipt of a sum of money on deposit which the bank or banker promises to pay to the depositor,
to the order of the depositor, or to some other person or his order, whereby the relation of debtor
and creditor between the bank and the depositor is created. In particular, the certificates of deposit
contain provisions on the amount of interest, period of maturity, and manner of termination.
Specifically, they stressed that endorsement and presentation of the certificate of deposit is
indispensable to their termination. In other words, the accounts may only be terminated upon
endorsement and presentation of the certificates of deposit. Without the requisite presentation of
the certificates of deposit, BPI may not terminate them.
CA AGRO-INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 90027 March 3, 1993
DAVIDE, JR., J.

DOCTRINE:
Safety Deposit Box - A contract for the rent of a safety deposit box is not an ordinary
contract of lease but a special kind of deposit.

FACTS:
CA Agro and the spouses Pugao entered into an agreement of sale; among the terms and
conditions stated therein were that the title of the lots shall be transferred to CA Agro upon full
payment of the purchase price and that the owner’s copy of title shall be deposited in a safety
deposit box of private respondent Security Bank and shall be opened only upon the joint signatures
of both parties. For this purpose, both signed a contract of lease with the following conditions:
(13) that the bank is not a depositary of the contents of the safe and it has neither the possession
nor control of the same; and (14) the bank has no interest whatsoever in said contents, except
herein expressly provided, and it assumes absolutely no liability in connection therewith.

Thereafter, Mrs. Ramos offered to buy the subject lots and demanded the execution of deed
of sale and the production of certificates of title; however, when Aguirre and Pugaos proceeded to
open the safety deposit box to obtain the certificate of title, there was none, and due to delay Mrs.
Ramos withdrew her offer. For the unrealized profits, petitioner then filed a complaint with the
RTC against the respondent Bank for damages; and it ruled that the Bank has no liability for the
loss of the certificates of title. On appeal, the CA ruled affirming the decision of the RTC; hence,
this petition.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the contractual relation between a commercial bank and another party in a
contract of rent of a safety deposit box is one of bailor and bailee or one of lessor and lessee.

RULING:
The Court ruled that the rent of safety deposit box is a special kind of deposit and not an
ordinary contract of lease. In the context of our laws which authorize banking institutions to rent
out safety deposit boxes, it is clearly provided under Section 72 of the General Banking Act that:
Note that the primary function is still found within the parameters of a contract of deposit. i.e., the
receiving in custody of funds, documents and other valuable objects for safekeeping. Also, any
stipulation exempting depository from liability for loss of thing deposited on account of fraud,
negligence or delay considered void for being contrary to law and public policy, and that the
liability of lessor in contract of lease of safety deposit box can be limited by stipulation but any
stipulation for exemption shall be held ineffective. In the instant case, the respondent Bank's
exoneration cannot be based on or proceed from a characterization of the impugned contract as a
contract of lease, but rather on the fact that no competent proof was presented to show that
respondent Bank was aware of the agreement, and that no evidence was submitted to reveal that
the loss of the certificates of title was due to the fraud or negligence of the respondent Bank. This
in turn flows from this Court's determination that the contract involved was one of deposit.
LUZAN SIA vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SECURITY BANK and TRUST COMPANY
G.R. No. 102970 May 13, 1993
DAVIDE, JR., J.
DOCTRINE:
That the relation between a bank renting out safe deposit boxes and its customer with
respect to the contents of the box is that of a bailor and bailee, the bailment for hire and mutual
benefit.

FACTS:
Sia rented a safety deposit box of Security Bank and Trust Co. (SBTC) at its Binondo
Branch wherein he placed his collection of stamps. The said safety deposit box leased by the
plaintiff was at the bottom or at the lowest level of the safety deposit boxes of the defendant bank.
During the floods that took place in 1985 and 1986, floodwater entered into the defendant bank’s
premises, seeped into the safety deposit box leased by the plaintiff and caused, according damage
to his stamps collection. Security Bank rejected the plaintiff’s claim for compensation for his
damaged stamps collection. This prompted Sia to institute an action for damages against the
defendant bank for SBTC had failed to exercise the required diligence expected of a bank
maintaining such safety deposit bank.

ISSUE:
Whether the contract between the parties is one of loan or deposit.

RULING:
It is one of contract of deposit and not that of contract of lease, as being titled in their
agreement. It further held that is one of a special deposit contract; that the relation between a bank
renting out safe deposit boxes and its customers with respect to the contents of the box is that of a
bailor and bailee, the bailment for hire and mutual benefit. The limited liability it assumed under
the disputed contract is null and void for under the law the depositary would be liable if in
performing its obligation, it is found guilty of fraud, negligence, delay or contravention of the tenor
of the agreement. In this case, SBTC was held to be guilty of negligence for it failed to exercise
the required diligence of a bank maintaining such safety deposit box. SBTC knew that the
floodwaters inundated the room where Deposit Box was located, it should have exerted its effort
to notify the petitioner in order that the box could have been opened to retrieve the stamps thus
saving the same from further deterioration and loss.
GOYANKO, JR. VS UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK
G.R. No. 179096. February 6, 2013
BRION, J.

DOCTRINE:
A bank does not become a trustee by the mere opening of an “In Trust For” account because
the fiduciary relationship of a bank with its depositors does not convert the contract from a simple
loan to a trust agreement, whether expressed or implied.

FACTS:
The heirs and illegitimate family of the late Joseph Goyanko, Sr. have conflicting claims
for the investment amounting to Php2,000,000 pesos by the latter with Philippine Asia Lending
Investors, Inc. (PALII). Pending investigation, PALII deposited the proceeds of the investment
with United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) under an account named “Phil Asia: ITF (In Trust
For) The Heirs of Joseph Goyanko, Sr.” Thereafter, UCPB allowed PALII to withdraw from said
account. Due to the said transaction, petitioner Joseph Goyanko, Jr. demanded UCPB to restore
the amount withdrawn alleging that the opening of the “In Trust For” account established a trust
by which the heirs are the beneficiaries. UCPB refused to said demand contending that it is not
negligent in handling the “In Trust For” account because it only involves an ordinary deposit
contract between PALII and UCPB, which created a debtor-creditor relationship obligating UCPB
to return the proceeds to the account holder, PALII.

ISSUE:
Whether or not UCPB should be liable for the amount withdrawn because a trust agreement
existed between PALII and UCPB in favor of the heirs of Goyanko, Sr., when PALII opened the
“In Trust For” account with UCPB.

RULING:
No, UCPB is not liable because there was no express trust as the phrase “In Trust For” does
not automatically reveal an intention to create a trust but was merely used to distinguish the said
account from PALII’s other accounts with UCPB. Before an express trust is recognized, there must
not only be a competent trustor and trustee, an ascertainable res and sufficiently certain
beneficiaries, but also a complete disposition of the property, power of administration and an
expressed declaration of terms. In the herein case, these requirements were not complied with
because there is no competent trustor and trustee; UCPB as trustee never had power of
administration over the account; PALII as trustor never had beneficial enjoyment of the account;
and the terms by which UCPB is to administer the account was not shown with certainty, hence
the intention to create an express trust is not established.

The opening of the said account by PALII signified that UCPB agreed to pay PALII upon
its demand and only upon its order and not of a third person, therefore UCPB was only performing
his contractual obligation under their deposit savings agreement when it allowed the withdrawal
of the account. With this, as the mere opening of an “In Trust For” account does not convert the
contract from a simple loan to a trust agreement, the bank is only obliged to observe “high
standards of integrity and performance”, to which UCPB correctly exercised, hence it cannot be
held liable for the said withdrawal.
DOMINADOR M. APIQUE vs. EVANGELINE APIQUE FAHNENSTICH
G.R. No. 205705. August 5, 2015.
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

DOCTRINE:
The common banking practice is that regardless of who puts the money into the account,
each of the named account holder has an undivided right to the entire balance, and any of them
may deposit and/or withdraw, partially or wholly, the funds without the need or consent of the
other, during their lifetime. Nevertheless, as between the account holders, their right against each
other may depend on what they have agreed upon, and the purpose for which the account was
opened and how it will be operated.

FACTS:
Evangeline, who was then in Germany, executed General and Special Powers of Attorney
constituting Dominador, her brother, as her attorney-in-fact to purchase real property for her, and
to manage or supervise her business affairs in the Philippines. As Evangeline was always in
Germany, she opened a joint savings account with Dominador at the PCI Bank, which later became
Equitable PCI Bank (EPCIB), and now Banco de Oro.

Dominador withdrew the amount of P980,000.00 from the subject account and, thereafter,
deposited the money to his own savings account with the same bank. Evangeline learned of such
withdrawal and likewise discovered that Dominador had deposited the amount withdrawn to his
own account with the same bank and that he had withdrawn various amounts from the said account.
Evangeline demanded the return of the amount withdrawn from the joint account, but to no avail.
Hence, she filed a complaint for sum of money, damages, and attorney’s fees, with prayer for
preliminary mandatory and prohibitory injunction and temporary restraining order (TRO) against
Dominador before the RTC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Evangeline is entitled to the return of the amount Dominador withdrew
from their joint savings account with EPCIB.

RULING:
Yes, Evangeline is entitled to the return of the said amount. The common banking practice
is that regardless of who puts the money into the account, each of the named account holder has
an undivided right to the entire balance, and any of them may deposit and/or withdraw, partially
or wholly, the funds without the need or consent of the other, during their lifetime. Nevertheless,
as between the account holders, their right against each other may depend on what they have agreed
upon, and the purpose for which the account was opened and how it will be operated. Here,
Dominador’s right to obtain funds from the subject account was conditioned on the necessity of
funds for Evangeline’s projects. Admittedly, at the time he withdrew the amount of P980,000.00
from the subject account, there was no project being undertaken for Evangeline.
ROMARICO G. VITUG vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 82027 March 29, 1990
SARMIENTO, J.

DOCTRINE:
The survivorship agreement is per se not contrary to law its operation or effect may be
violative of the law. If it be shown in a given case that such agreement is a mere cloak to hide an
inofficious donation, to transfer property in fraud of creditors, or to defeat the legitime of a forced
heir, it may be assailed and annulled upon such grounds.

FACTS:
While the probate proceedings of the will of petitioner’s wife was being heard, petitioner
filed a motion asking for authority from the probate court to sell certain shares of stock and real
properties belonging to the estate to cover allegedly his advances to the estate for the payment of
estate tax, deficiency estate tax, and "increment thereto", which he claimed were personal funds.
Private respondent opposed the motion to sell on the ground that the same funds withdrawn from
savings account were conjugal partnership properties and part of the estate, and hence, there was
allegedly no ground for reimbursement. Petitioner insists that the said funds are his exclusive
property having acquired the same through a survivorship agreement executed with his late wife,
stating therein that upon death of either spouse, the subject bank account shall be own solely by
the surviving spouse, or “survivor-take-all” feature.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the survivorship agreement executed during the lifetime of the deceased
was lawful and that the property subject of said agreement considered as petitioner’s separate
property.

RULING:
Yes. The validity of the contract seems debatable by reason of its “survivor-take-all”
feature, but in reality, that contract imposed a mere obligation with a term, the term being death,
such agreements are permitted by the Civil Code. But although the survivorship agreement is per
se not contrary to law its operation or effect may be violative of the law, if it be shown in a given
case that such agreement is a mere cloak to hide an inofficious donation, to transfer property in
fraud of creditors, or to defeat the legitime of a forced heir, it may be assailed and annulled upon
such grounds.

In the case at bar, there is no demonstration here that the survivorship agreement had been
executed for such unlawful purposes, in order to frustrate our laws on wills, donations, and
conjugal partnership. Hence, the survivorship agreement was valid, and that the property subject
of said agreement was a separate property of petitioner, it forms no more part of the estate of the
deceased.