THE PHILIPPINE Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) is set to file criminal charges against officials and employees of the closed AMA Rural Bank of Mandaluyong, Inc. for refusing to turn over bank records.

In a statement yesterday, the state deposit insurer said it gave the bank’s accountable employees 24 hours to report to the PDIC but as of Nov. 19, only 16 individuals complied.

The PDIC earlier said it issued more than 60 demand letters on Nov. 15.

“When a bank is served a notice of closure, employment is terminated by operation of law but directors, officers and employees who hold assets, records, documents in trust or under administration have a duty to account for and surrender these to the Receiver as well as provide information relating to the assets/ records,” it explained.

The PDIC has warned that if the closed bank will not cooperate, claims of insured depositors may be delayed.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ordered the bank’s closure on Nov. 7 while directing the PDIC to take over its liquidation.

As of end-June, the bank has P1.4 billion worth of total deposits while P1.3 billion are insured.

“The PDIC also sought the assistance of government authorities in the conduct of investigation on possible fraud, irregularities and anomalies that may have been committed in the bank,” it said.

Republic Act. No. 3591 or the PDIC Charter states that refusal to turn over or destroying or tampering bank records are considered as criminal acts and are punishable with imprisonment.

The state deposit insurer also assured that they are now exploring alternative measures in reconciling bank records to minimize the delay of deposit insurance’s claims. — Beatrice M. Laforga