A New York-based bank denied that it issued bank certification to a third-party audit firm chosen by state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to handle financial matters with Philippine Offshore Gaming Corporations.
Soleil Chartered Bank issued the statement after PAGCOR said in a Senate hearing that with the assumption of new leadership, the contract of third-party auditor Global ComRCI was put under review in September 2022.
Global ComRCI won a 10-year contract from PAGCOR in 2017 to audit offshore licensees. “We have been in contact with Global ComRCI and are currently assessing the contract’s terms and conditions and the company’s performance,” PAGCOR said in a statement.
The issue arose from recent investigations by the Senate committee on ways and means headed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian that looked on the country’s benefits from the POGO operations. The investigation showed that Global ComRCI submitted documents, including a bank certification, in compliance with the requirements of its contract with PAGCOR.
Gatchalian asked PAGCOR on Global ComRCI’s compliance with the P1-billion capital requirement. PAGCOR legal counsel Roderick Consolacion then presented a bank certificate reportedly issued by Soleil Chartered Bank showing Global ComRCI $25-million deposit.
Soleil Chartered Bank business liaison Ali Abbas came to Manila to shed light on Global ComRCI’s alleged involvement with the bank. He denied allegations that SCBNY issued the questioned bank certificate dated June 15, 2017 in favor of Global ComRCI.
He also rejected claims that Global ComRCI had a bank account with SCB New York. He said the letterhead used in the bank certificate “is not the letterhead used by SCBNY.”
Abbas said the bank instruments issued by SCBNY do not indicate any Philippine address as it does not have an office in the Philippines. He also raised questions on the authenticity of the bank certificate, including the document’s letterhead and the purported signature of the SCBNY chairman.
He said the document “does not conform to the regulated banking form in New York whether for bank certificates or for bank guarantees”.
The SCBNY executive also said his company does not directly issue bank instruments or guarantees to clients. He said that in the case of Philippine applicants, the issuance of the bank instrument or guarantee is coursed through the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines or the Development Bank of the Philippines.
SCBNY was dragged into the issue after investigators disclosed that Soleil Capitale Corp. held office at 2704-A West Tower of the Philippine Stock Exchange in Ortigas Center, Pasig City which SCBNY also reportedly occupied.