June 22, 2020 / 10:40 AM / 14 days ago

Very clear Wirecard deposit certificate was 'spurious', BPI CEO says

FILE PHOTO: A company logo of Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) is pictured in Manila's Makati financial district February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA (Reuters) - Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI.PS) Chief Executive Cezar Consing said it was clear that a certificate purporting to be for a Wirecard deposit was “spurious” and reiterated that no cash from the German payments firm had entered the bank.

Wirecard (WDIG.DE) said on Monday that 1.9 billion euros (£1.7 billion) that its auditor EY has been unable to account for likely did not exist in the first place after a search for the missing cash hit a dead end in the Philippines.

BPI and fellow Philippine bank BDO Unibank (BDO.PS) both issued statements last week saying that Munich-based Wirecard was not a client and BDO has also said documents purporting to show Wirecard had deposited funds with it were false.

“It was very clear when we were shown the so-called certificate that it was spurious. Very clear it was spurious,” BPI’s Consing told Reuters, adding that he was informed about it on June 15 when EY asked whether the certificates were real.

Consing said the bank had taken immediate action and discovered that a “very junior” assistant manager at BPI had signed the “bogus” certificate. He did not name the individual.

BPI then began proceedings against the assistant manager and informed the Philippine central bank and EY Germany, he added.

“The investigation has ran its course, we are terminating him, let us see what happens,” Consing said, without giving any further details about the employee in question.

BPI’s latest annual report shows that the bank had a total of 21,249 employees in 2019.

Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Alexander Smith

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