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G.R. No. 69162 February 21, 1992 BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, petitioner, vs.THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE O!

O!RT a"# $%e SPO!SES ARTH!R ANLAS a"# &I&IENE ANLAS, respondents.

FA TS' 1. The respondent spouses, Arthur and Vivienne Canlas, opened a joint current account 1977 in the Quezon City branch of the Co ercial !an" and Trust Co pany of the #hilippines $C!TC% &ith an initial deposit of #','(). #rior thereto, Arthur Canlas had an e*istin+ separate personal chec"in+ account in the sa e branch. '. ,hen the respondent spouses opened their joint current account, the -ne& accounts- teller of the ban" pulled out fro the ban".s files the old and e*istin+ si+nature card of respondent Arthur Canlas for Current Account for use as / 0 and reference. !y ista"e, she placed the old personal account nu ber of Arthur Canlas on the deposit slip for the ne& joint chec"in+ account of the spouses so that the initial deposit of #','() for the joint chec"in+ account &as iscredited to Arthur.s personal account. The spouses subse1uently deposited other a ounts in their joint account. 2. 3o&ever, &hen respondent Vivienne Canlas issued a chec" for #l,429.59 in April 1977 and another chec" for #1,14).)) on 6une 1, 1977, one of the chec"s &as dishonored by the ban" for insufficient funds and a penalty of #') &as deducted fro the account in both instances. 7. the ban" tried to call up the spouses at the telephone nu ber &hich they had +iven in their application for , but the ban" could not contact the because they actually reside in #orac, #a pan+a. The city address and telephone nu ber &hich they +ave to the ban" belon+ed to 8rs. Canlas. parents. (. the private respondents filed a co plaint for da a+es a+ainst C!TC in the Court of 9irst /nstance of #a pan+a. the ban" filed a otion to dis iss the co plaint for i proper venue. The otion &as denied. 4. 0urin+ the pendency of the case, the !an" of the #hilippine /slands $!#/% and C!TC &ere er+ed. As the survivin+ corporation under the er+er a+ree ent and under :ection 5) $(% of the Corporation Code of the #hilippines, !#/ too" over the prosecution and defense of any pendin+ clai s, actions or proceedin+s by and a+ainst C!TC. 7. ;TC< in favor of spouses Canlas 5. CA<affir ed but odified the da a+es a&arded $a&arded s aller a ounts% ISS!E' ,=> the petitioner ban" should considered ne+li+ent, uch less held liable for da a+es on account of the inadvertence of its ban" e ployee HELD' ?@:. The ban" is not e*pected to be infallible but it ust bear the bla e for not discoverin+ the ista"e of its teller despite the established procedure re1uirin+ the papers and ban" boo"s to pass throu+h a battery of ban" personnel &hose duty it is to chec" and counterchec" the for possible errors. Apparently, the officials and e ployees tas"ed to do that did not perfor their duties &ith due care, as ay be +athered fro the testi ony of the ban".s lone &itness, Antonio @nciso, &ho casually declared that -the approvin+ officer does not have to see the account nu bers and all those thin+s. Those are very petty things for the approving manager to look into- Anfortunately, it &as a -petty thin+,- li"e the incorrect account nu ber that the ban" teller &rote on the initial deposit slip for the ne&ly<opened joint current account of the Canlas spouses, that spar"ed this half<a< illion<peso da a+e suit a+ainst the ban". The point is that as a business affected &ith public interest and because of the nature of its functions, the ban" is under obli+ation to treat the accounts of its depositors &ith eticulous care, al&ays havin+ in ind the fiduciary nature of their relationship. /n every case, the depositor e*pects the ban" to treat his account &ith the ut ost fidelity, &hether such account consists only of a fe& hundred pesos or of illions. The ban" ust record every sin+le transaction accurately, do&n to the last centavo, and as pro ptly as possible. This has to be done if the account is to reflect at any +iven ti e the a ount of

oney the depositor can dispose of as he sees fit, confident that the ban" &ill deliver it as and to &ho ever he directs. A blunder on the part of the ban", such as the dishonor of a chec" &ithout +ood reason, can cause the depositor not a little e barrass ent if not also financial loss and perhaps even civil and cri inal liti+ation.