MANILA – None of the USD2.1-billion missing funds that German payments technology firm Wirecard claimed ended in two Asian banks did not wind up in the Philippines, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.
In a Viber message to journalists Sunday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said domestic monetary authorities are now conducting an investigation on the allegation that the funds were transferred to the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and BDO Unibank Inc.
“The initial report is that no money entered the Philippines and that there is no loss to both banks,” he said.
Wirecard is facing a backlash for its 2019 earnings given the missing funds, which it said were put in escrow in two Asian banks.
Its external auditor, Ernst & Young, has written both BPI and BDO to verify Wirecard’s claims and was told that these reports are “spurious”.
Diokno said the allegation that the funds ended in the country’s financial system is “an attempt to cover the perpetrators’ track.”
“Both BDO and BPI state that the financial technology firm Wirecard was not a client nor did they have any business relationship with the German firm. Both banks informed Ernst & Young, the external auditor, that the documents that attested to the presence of the supposed funds were ‘spurious’,” he said.
Diokno further said the domestic banking system faced the pandemic on a strong position, with total assets rising to PHP18.7 trillion to date, up by 9.3 percent last year.
The sector’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR), a gauge of a bank’s financial health, is about 16 percent to date, higher than the 10 percent minimum requirement by the BSP.
Non-performing loan (NPL) ratio as of last April was at manageable level of 2.3 percent despite an uptick from year-ago’s 2.1 percent.
Diokno also cited Japan Credit Rating Agency’s (JCRA) decision last June 11 to upgrade its credit rating on the country from BBB+ to A- with stable outlook “as it believes the country can withstand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
“It also underscored the strength of the banking system for the stable outlook,” he added. (PNA)