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Should banks be held liable for phishing scam incidents like what happened in the BDO and UnionBank of the Philippines online banking scams?

Should banks be held liable for phishing scam incidents like what happened in the BDO and UnionBank of the Philippines online banking scams discovered over a week ago? This should not be anymore a controversial piece even through the lens of legal calisthenics.

Banks are institutions where the highest standard of integrity, trust, and security is equitable to what, why, and how banks ease the flow of money in the markets they operate. Not only do they take in funds nor act as intermediaries but also make money.

Although there is a symbiotic community existing in the banking system between the bank and the client, the burden to protect and ensure the highest standard of integrity, trust, and security for the resources clients give the full trust to the bank shall be solely up to the bank as an institution, as a business entity. Otherwise, the very foundation of the banking system on what, why, and how it operates remains theoretical and academic. It is the raison d’être of the banking system to provide “security and confidence in the economy” as puts it. Otherwise, financial panic may arise.

Depositors’ negligence won’t reduce BDO, UnionBank liabilities

On the BDO phishing scam incident that hackers are discovered unauthorized transferring of funds from depositors’ accounts to a UnionBank of the Philippines account Mark Naguyo, should these banks be held liable for online banking scams? Yes, because these banks are expected to deliver what they must be expected to do to make sure that integrity and trust are intact. As part of doing so, it is the bank’s primary role to keep abreast of the constant advancement of technology as their services keep up with the changing technology trends, some by leaps and bounds. For that, it would be preposterous to underscore that banks, despite making advancements in their information technology departments, were not solely liable for the security breach.

Not only that, it is, as well, too nonsensical to hold depositors guilty of contributory negligence when they received and clicked the link that led to the crime to succeed. For it doesn’t matter whether you clicked it or not, hackers succeeded to penetrate the firewall system thus easy for them to get their job done. It is the sole liability of the banks to compensate the damage that depositors experienced despite being, the banks, the victims as well of the crime. Banks must bear the full brunt of compensatory damages as they are expected to secure the services at the highest standard of integrity and trust no ifs and buts. We called it simply organizational values—the core of business existence.

While journalists and copy editors are punished when lapses are made despite the efforts made, what’s so special with the banks?

Hackers are reportedly identified, really?

Stage events are crucial when the government and the big corporations with influence as big as the universe have a public policy to develop and soon be implemented. Call it a conspiracy theory, but hackers must have known how high the stake when they were get tracked. Besides, hacking these big-time banks needs backup plans. Are we saying that these hackers operate mindlessly?

Or should we say that the online banking scams, as well as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to some government and private institutions servers would categorically be interpreted as staged events to justify the need to pass laws that mandate, for example, the brewing SIM card registration act that requires mobile phone users to register their SIM cards—the Senate, by the way, approved the bill just days ago.

Or have the national identification be intensified in its implementation, and vaccine passport be mandatory following the COVID-19 pandemic—the consequences of “perceived” staged events.

Now, what’s next we would be experiencing to justify the need of so and so at the expense of staged events? If these were true, governments, indeed, were evil. So many lives have been sacrificed. So many of us have become sacrificial lambs unknowingly. So many of us still believed in lies and deception cloaked in facts and propaganda. And we are getting down into that abyss of manipulation by the deep state. Still, sounds like a conspiracy theory? The world is a stage of conspiracies we like it or not. ▲

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