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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Philippines

RCBC files $2.47m defamation suit vs Bank of Bangladesh after massive cyberheist

RCBC thinks that the Bangladesh Bank should pay them at least $1.90m in damages and another $570,000 to its senior VP for similar damages.

The Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) filed a $2.47m (PHP130m) defamation suit against the Bank of Bangladesh for the backlash of the US$81n (PHP4.27b) international bank money laundering scandal where Bank of Bangladesh lost money to hackers that have registered fake accounts in RCBC, according to the Philippine News Agency.

Also read: RCBC refuses to settle with Bangladesh over $81m heist in 2016

RCBC asked a Philippine court to order the Bank of Bangladesh to stop "defamation and harassment against RCBC through issuing public statements alleging or tending to damage the reputation of RCBC, or making it appear that the Philippine bank is supposedly under any legal obligation to pay or return any amount to the Bangladesh Bank, and/or imputing that any crime has been committed by RCBC against defendant Bangladesh Bank.

According to RCBC, Bank of Bangladesh should be made liable to pay actual, moral, exemplary damages, as well as attorney’s fees in the amount of at least $1.90m (PHP100m) and to pay RCBC senior vice president Ismael Reyes at least $570,000 (PHP30m) for similar damages.

It was in February 2016 when the $81m from Bangladesh Bank, which was kept in its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was sent through payment instructions that originated from the foreign bank's own terminals that interfaced with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) communication system. Said money was remitted to three accounts maintained in RCBC's Jupiter Makati branch.

"In its attempts to retrieve the money it had lost, defendant Bangladesh Bank resorted to casting blame everywhere, and in particular, unfairly and viciously maligning plaintiff RCBC, even when the defendant Bangladesh Bank knew that, at the very moment the payment instructions were sent from the Bangladesh Bank, the loss had already occurred without any action or intervention on the part of plaintiff RCBC," the petition said.

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