Bank declares “holiday” Legacy on rehab plan



BANK HOLIDAY! As early as 8 a.m. yesterday, motorcycle riding depositors were already at the premises of Pilipino rural Bank along CPG Ave., this city to check the veracity of the report that the bank declared a “bank holiday”. Truly, they found the bank closed after dyRD repoerters made an exclusive check on the bank holiday early yesterday morning. Foto DANNY REYES
Averting a possible panic among its thousands of Boholano depositors that could cause substantial withdrawals, the local branch of Pilipino Rural Bank (PRB) declared a “bank holiday” starting last Monday.

Bank depositors were surprised to see the “bank holiday” notice

posted at its entrance without a definite period when its operations will resume.

PRBank is among the so-called subsidiary rural banks of the Legacy Group, a financial firm that is also currently caught in a situation of insolvency.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is trying to close down the 11 rural banks of Legacy Group for its capital deficiency. In fact, another branch – the Philippine Countryside Rural Bank in Cebu – also declared a “holiday” yesterday.

A bank that is incurring a liquidity problem (short of cash) declares a “holiday” in order to avoid a possible “bank run” where depositors who are aware of the firm’s solvency situation will panic and pull out their deposits.

According to the notice posted at the PRBank entrance, management is awaiting an emergency loan from the Bangko Sentral to service all transactions of its clients.

Depositors who were alarmed of the sudden closure of the bank since Monday called up bank manager Delia Duliguez on her mobile and apartment telephone to no avail.

Duliguez was not at her apartment in Calceta Street, this city, when checked by the Chronicle yesterday morning after the top rated “Inyong Alagad” and “Pulso” programs of dyRD were jammed with depositors who sounded panicky on the status of their banks deposits.

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Many depositors were enticed to deposit at the PRBank with their “double your money in five years” while its holding company reportedly marketed a more juicy offer of “double your money in three years.” This twin offer received a resounding patronage from Boholanos, not to mention their money back guarantee on car and motorcycle loans.

A bank depositor from Jagna town who monitored the dyRD report while dropping at a cellphone shop rushed to the Chronicle editorial offices mid-morning yesterday to confirm that she deposited P2 million out of her retirement benefits and savings from her children working in the United States due to the high interest rate offered by the bank.

The depositor availed of the bank’s product that guarantees to double the deposited amount after a period of five years.

She said Duliguez was her friend but she started to worry when all her attempts to call the bank manager was unanswered.

A similar attempt to call up the bank’s “new accounts” head Bebelyn Ferolino also proved futile, the depositor said.

Several depositors who called up Station dyRD said it worries them that the bank’s management has not issued an official statement regarding the financial status of the bank and their deposits.

“LEGACY ON REHAB”

Antonio “Tony” Wycoco, vice president and marketing division head of Legacy Group’s pre-need insurance, said in an interview over dyRD yesterday that his company is currently undergoing a rehabilitation plan.

Wycoco said Legacy’s pre-need company offers another savings scheme that doubles the money of investors within a period of 3 years.

Hence, an investment of P100,000 will become P200,000 after three years. It will be paid out in checks issued to the investor on a quarterly basis.

According to Wycoco, Legacy management is requesting a 2-month moratorium on all interest and principal investment payments starting last November.

He said their investment product is entirely different from that of its sister company PRBank.

However, since both companies are in financial trouble, the group’s assets may be utilized in paying out investments and liabilities.

Wycoco disclosed that the management of Legacy may opt to apply for dissolution with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in order to payback their depositors of their investments, but, minus the interests.

“The company already discussed the possibility that if the company could not rehabilitate, then the most likely step to return the investors’ capital is to apply for dissolution,” he said.

Under the process of dissolving the company, its assets will be liquidated to pay out investors. He warned, however, that this process will take time.

PRBank deposits are covered by the Philippine Deposits Insurance Corporation (PDIC) which insures up to P250,000.

“HIGH RISK”

Wycoco admitted that they made it a company policy to inform their investors that they are venturing into a high risk investment.

“It is a high yielding investment but it also involves high risks. We sell it to our investors honestly,” he stressed.

The Legacy officer said their company will be paying an additional 6-percent interest for the 2-month delay of payments.

LOCAL BANKERS: NO COMMENT

The Bohol Bankers Association declined to issue its official statement with regards to the financial distress encountered by Pilipino Rural Bank which has a branch operating in the city.

Union Bank manager Marius Borja told the Chronicle last night the association wanted to check on the matter in order to comment regarding the bank holiday.

China Bank manager Rodney Lumuthang who sits as president of the bankers association said that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was not informed of the bank holiday by PR Bank management. This was the statement issued by the financial and consumer department of BSP-Manila when contacted by Lumuthang.

The local bankers association would usually issue public statement when bank holiday is declared in any of the banks which belong to their association.(TheBoholChronicle)

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