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RCBC responds to speculation on board changes

RizalCommercial Banking Corp. neither confirmed nor denied speculationthat it was revamping its board by adding more independent directors.

The bank was responding to a July 25 report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the bankis adding new independent directors to prevent a repeat of the money-launderingscandal it wentthrough in April.

The bank was reportedly told by the central bank to increasethe number of independent directors to seven, representing 46% of the bank'stotal board headcount of 15. RCBC will reportedly name Vaughn Montes, directorof Development Bank of the Philippines, former Securities and ExchangeCommission chair Lilia Bautista and Gabriel Claudio, current director ofPAGCOR, to its board, effective Aug. 1.

In response, the bank said it currently has the samedirectors and there have been no resignations or new appointments. It will holda board meeting July 25.

The bank was embroiled in a money laundering scandalinvolving the cyber theft of US$81 million from Bangladesh Bank's account atthe U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In the wake of the scandal, thebank's president resigned and three new independent directors were to its board.