THE BREADWINNER | Mario F. Fetalino Jr.
My first job after school was in a bank in Makati. I was interviewed by people from the Human Resource Department, a supervisor, a manager, and the bank’s vice president.
All those interviews happened within a month before I got hired. The process was meant to determine whether I deserve to be a bank employee.
I wanted to work in a bank because of the perception that bankers are trustworthy. I was also amazed with guys in slacks, long sleeves and ties because they look very dignified.
But I was assigned to the Credit Department as a motorized credit investigator. So instead of donning the banker’s attire, I wore leather boots, blue jeans, jacket and a helmet. Yes, not exactly the look I dreamed of.
Nevertheless, I loved my job because I got to travel a lot and met many people. My commitment to work and enthusiasm to learn more about my profession opened opportunities for promotion.
I took a good offer from another financial institution. There I got to wear the clothes that made me look like a real banker.
Later on however, the company was shut down because its top executives got involved in a multi-million peso scam. I never thought those guys in expensive suits could be engaged in anomalies considering their business is all about trust.
Today, measures are being taken to avoid anomalies in banks.
By adopting a more stringent and risk-focused screening policy for its supervised financial institution or BFSI, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas aims to ensure the banking sector’s integrity and improve operational risk management.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said around 7,500 names are currently in the watchlist of dismissed BSFI employees but clarified that the list does not cover those disqualified to work on banks alone.
With the issuance of Circular No. 1112, or the know-your-employee rules, he said it will be hard to predict if there will be 100-percent compliance on the circular, adding “if there continues to be some bad behavior on the part of the workers, it (the list) will continue to increase.”
He said the regulator “subscribes to the principle that the ‘tone of good corporate governance should come from the top’ thus, the KYE rule will not only address fraud and irregularities due to weak operational risk management but also foster confidence in the banking system.
“People are the very heart of every institution, especially in banking which is built on trust. Robust know-your-employee procedures foster a stable banking system by weeding out unprincipled personnel who may cause reputational risk to a bank and the financial system,” he said.
Lawyer Florabelle Santos-Madrid, BSP Financial System Integrity Department director, said the central bank’s watchlist database is updated every time the central bank receives new information from banks regarding disqualification of certain individuals.
She said reports of bank employees’ participation in financial system-related crimes is among the red flags for the issuance of KYE rules.
“One of the primary reasons that we are tightening the rules on KYE is to prevent these cases from happening. So definitely, if there will be bank personnel involved in money laundering cases, that will be a red flag in terms of the robustness of their KYE processes,” she said.
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