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Case Digest for Banking Law

Bank of the Philippine Island vs. Reynald Suarez G.R. No. 16775 ! "ar#h 15! $ 1 %a#ts& Suarez represents a #lient 'ho 'ants to (uy par#els of land 'ithout havin) to dire#tly deal 'ith the land o'ners. *hey +ade arran)e+ents that Suarez 'ill +ake the transa#tions on his (ehalf to +ake it appear he is the one (uyin) the lots. *he #lient issued a #he#k fro+ Rizal ,o++er#ial Bankin) ,o. to (e #redited to the #he#kin) a##ount of Suarez 'ith BPI in the a+ount of P1-!1$-!1 . as #onsideration to the lots. .no'in) that the (ank o(serves a /0day #learin) #he#k poli#y! he asked his se#retary to #all BPI if the R,B, #he#k 'as already #redited to his a##ount on the sa+e day the #he#k 'as issued (y his #lient. 1pon the #onfir+ation of his se#retary fro+ BPI that the a+ount 'as already #redited to his a##ount! he su(se2uently issued 5 #he#ks to the land o'ners and left to the 1S for a va#ation the ne3t day. 4e 'as thereafter infor+ed (y his se#retary that the 5 #he#ks 'ere dishonored on 5une 16! 1--7! the sa+e day the 5 #he#ks 'ere issued and he in#urred #har)es (e#ause of it. 6n 5une 1-! 1--7! the payees a)ain presented the 5 #he#ks and this ti+e they 'ere honored renderin) the a##ount of Suarez to (e suffi#iently funded. Suarez de+anded an apolo)y fro+ BPI and for the reversal of the #har)es in#urred fro+ his a##ount. 4is #he#ks 'ere apparently returned due to 7dra'n a)ainst insuffi#ient funds8 9:;I%< instead of 7dra'n a)ainst un#olle#ted deposit 9:;1:<. 1pon e3a+ination of the #he#ks! Suarez insisted that the #he#ks 'ere ta+pered 'here the :;I% +ark on the #he#k 'as #han)ed to :;1:. 4e sued the (ank for da+a)es and re=e#ted the (ank>s offer to reverse the #har)es fro+ his a##ount. *he R*, ruled in favor of Suarez a'ardin) hi+ a#tual! +oral and e3e+plary da+a)es and attorney>s fees. 6n appeal! the ,ourt of ;ppeals reaffir+ed the R*, de#ision after esta(lishin) that there 'ere indeed inter#alations +ade on the :;I% +arkin) to +ake it appear as :;1:. *he #ourt finds it proper to a'ard +oral and e3e+plary da+a)es (e#ause Suarez #ould (e #ri+inally held lia(le in violation of BP $$ if the reason of dishonorin) the #he#k is due to :;I%. ;lthou)h he +ay not have (een lia(le for a #ri+inal prose#ution! he also suffered hu+iliation fro+ his #lient (e#ause the land o'ners a(orted their transa#tion thinkin) he is not #apa(le of fulfillin) his o(li)ation. *he a#t of reversion of the (ank on the #har)es i+posed on Suarez>s a##ount is tanta+ount to their ad+ission of havin) #o++itted (lunder in handlin) the a##ount of their #lient. *he (ank ho'ever insisted that Suarez is lia(le for payin) the #har)es +andated (y Philippine ,learin) 4ouse Rules and Re)ulations 9P,4RR<. Issue& ?hether or not BPI 'as ne)li)ent in handlin) the a##ount of their #lient@ ?hether or not the a'ard for da+a)es is proper@ ?hether or not Suarez #ould (e held lia(le to pay for the servi#e #har)e i+posed (y P,4RR@

Rulin)& *he Supre+e ,ourt held that for BPI to (e held ne)li)ent in handlin) the a##ount of Suarez it should (e esta(lished 'hether BPI a#tually +ade the #onfir+ation on the sa+e0 day #reditin) of the R,B, #he#k on his a##ount. 4e solely (ased su#h #onfir+ation fro+ his se#retary 'ho failed to identify the +ale (ank e+ployee 'ho alle)edly +ade the assuran#e on su#h fa#t and they failed to prove 'hether the said (ank e+ployee is authorized (y the (ank to dis#lose infor+ation a(out their depositor>s (ank a##ount to so+eone other than the depositor hi+self. *he sa+e0day #learin) of #he#k deposits re2uires approval fro+ the (ank offi#ials 'hi#h Suarez failed to prove of havin) se#ured su#h approval to the proper (ank offi#ials. *hus! BPI is not estopped fro+ dishonorin) the #he#ks for inade2uate funds on his a##ount (e#ause the R,B, #he#k re+ained un#leared at that ti+e. *he (ank 'as not ne)li)ent in handlin) the a##ount of Suarez. *he #ourt finds it i+proper to a'ard Suarez for +oral and a#tual da+a)es. *o 2ualify for +oral da+a)es it +ust (e sho'n that the plaintiff suffered in=ury! the a#t or o+ission pri+arily as the pro3i+ate #ause of su#h in=ury. Suarez failed to esta(lish that the in=ury he suffered is due to the erroneous +arkin) on the #he#k. *he hu+iliation he sustained fro+ his #lient is the result of a =ustified dishonorin) of his #he#ks. *he (ank 'as =ustified in dishonorin) the #he#k therefore it is not lia(le for a#tual da+a)es as 'ell. BPI 'as also =ustified in de(itin) the #har)es in#urred (y Suarez fro+ his a##ount due to the dishonored #he#k pursuant to the P,4RR rules. *he (ankin) institution ho'ever is i+pressed 'ith pu(li# interest. It should therefore o(serve the hi)hest de)ree of dili)en#e in handlin) the a##ount of their #lients. Suarez has the ri)ht to e3pe#t su#h hi)h de)ree of #are on his a##ount therefore he is entitled to a no+inal da+a)e of P75! .