THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) urged financial institutions to beef up their safeguards against scammers amid complaints on reported scams and fraudsters.

Memorandum No. M-2020-053 signed by BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier on June 19 said BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) should maintain soundness in their risk management policies in line with BSP regulations on anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing and consumer protection.

“It is important that BSFIs remain vigilant and steadfast to mitigate and prevent risks arising from these illegal activities and preserve the public’s confidence in using financial services,” the memorandum said.

It said scammers have been taking out victims’ funds in various financial products.

“The BSP has been receiving complaints from the public who were reportedly defrauded by scammers or fraudsters using financial products and services, such as deposit or electronic money accounts, credit cards and remittance services as modes to fraudulently funnel out funds,” the memo added.

With this, the BSP urged BSFIs to put in place policies to protect consumers, including boosting the promotion of digital literacy and cybersecurity among their consumers to reduce the tendency to fall prey to scams and to prevent losses.

BSFIs were likewise told to respond to complaints and provide redress mechanisms accessible to their customers in the form of social media platforms, websites, e-mail or text messages.

Moreover, BSFIs should “adopt appropriate security policies and measures to strengthen cybersecurity and ensure that these are tested, monitored and updated on a regular basis,” the memo said.

Given the rise of fraud incidents, BSFIs were asked to conduct risk-based due diligence on customers with “occasional but relevant business transactions.”

Customer complaints should be used to review accounts and to conduct transactional enhanced due diligence or further investigation, the memo said. — LWTN