TWO of the country’s biggest banks said they are not currently in talks to buy a controlling stake in Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC).

In separate disclosures, BDO Unibank, Inc. and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) dismissed as speculative a newspaper item about potential deals to buy the Yuchengco family’s stake in RCBC.

“BDO Unibank, Inc. has always been open to accretive acquisitions which will help it achieve growth and efficiencies. There are, however, no definite discussions regarding an acquisition of or investment in [RCBC],” BDO said in a statement.

Meanwhile, BPI said that it “is not in discussions with RCBC or its shareholders.”

RCBC confirmed this, adding that any information other than the disclosures released by the bank is purely speculative.

RCBC, the 10th largest in terms of assets with resources worth P427 million, also noted that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is not pressuring it to change leadership.

On Friday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published a “Biz Buzz” column claiming BDO and BPI, as the most liquid banks, to be in a position to acquire a controlling stake in RCBC.

RCBC was under scrutiny last year for its involvement in the electronic theft of $81 million from a Bangladesh Bank account with the Federal Reserve in New York. The central bank made RCBC pay a fine of P1 billion. – Karl Angelo N. Vidal