HAVING been clients for years, depositors of the Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank in Carcar City had no reason to believe their deposits would be inaccessible when they needed it the most.

Seventy-four-year-old Benedicta Gempesao visited the bank in Carcar City yesterday to confirm for herself reports that the bank had been placed under receivership. More importantly, she needed to withdraw her P200,000 in savings the bank an eye operation scheduled today.

Wa sad gyud ko gaduda nga manirahay ning bangkoha kay ari man gyud nako ihulog akong kwarta pirmi (I never thought this bank would close because I have always deposited my money here),” Gempesao told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday. The woman left the bank without her money.

Gempesao said she regularly saves a portion of the remittances given to her by her child now based in Canada so she won’t have to rely on her children if there are emergencies. She said she could no longer cancel the cataract surgery today. In order to proceed, she had to borrow money from someone else.

Wala man pod mi kadungog og sulti-sulti nga padung ni sirad-an (We did not hear any rumors about the bank closing),” said the bank’s security guard Dominggo Cojen, who has been with the bank since 2007.

Kung nahibaw-an pa lang gyud nako, ako na unta gikuha dayon akong P10,000 (If I knew, I would have withdrawn my P10,000),” Cojen, also a depositor of Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank, said.

In a resolution dated Jan. 28, the Monetary Board (MB) placed the 57-year-old bank under the receivership of Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC). PDIC took over the bank on Jan. 29.

The state deposit insurer promised depositors that they will get their money back, particularly those whose deposits are below P500,000, the maximum deposit insurance coverage.

PDIC Information Officer Nathanael A. Tumbokon said the bank had 1,909 depositors and that PDIC will settle claims on the third week of this month.

Likewise, PDIC will go after individuals who have unpaid loan obligations to the bank.

“They will get their money back but there will be inconveniences,” said Tumbokon.

Latest available records show that as of Dec. 31, 2015, Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank had total deposit liabilities of P67.6 million. Total insured deposits amounted to P60.7 million or 89.8 percent of total deposits.

PDIC also announced that it will conduct a depositors-borrowers’ forum on Feb. 12, at 9 a.m. at the Carcar City Complex. It enjoined all depositors to attend the forum to verify with PDIC representatives if they are eligible for early payment.

Tumbokon said individual depositors with balances of P100,000 or less do not have to file deposit insurance claims. Those who are not eligible will be informed of the requirements and procedures for filing deposit insurance claims.

The PDIC official said Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank can still reopen if it can submit a rehabilitation plan and if it gets the approval of the BSP.

“The receiver (PDIC) shall determine as soon as possible, but not later than 90 days from takeover of the bank, whether the same may be rehabilitated or permitted to resume business, provided that any determination for the resumption of business shall be subject to prior approval of the MB,” PDIC said in a notice posted outside the bank premised.

The qualified parties must manifest in writing their interest to rehabilitate the bank and submit pre-qualification requirements by Feb. 8, PDIC added.

Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank is owned by Matias B. Aznar III who holds 42.67 percent share. The rest are being shared by Pilar S. Marfori (5.96 percent), Herminia S. Rosales (5.93 percent), Martha S. Lotilla (4.47 percent), Evelyn S. Miralles (4.47 percent), Douglas R. Sanson (4.47 percent), Gregorio C. Marfori (4.44 percent), Teodoro C. Cui, Jr. (4.31 percent), Eleonor S. Aznar (3.98 percent), and Dario C. Cui (3.54 percent). The bank’s president is Ramon Cayo Sanson Marfori and its chairman is Jundeline Marie R. Sumanga.

Depositor Marilyn Abapo said she may have to find a “more reliable” bank next time. She said she was attracted to the P500 minimum passbook balance, unlike with the other banks, especially the bigger ones, that would require at least P10,000 to open a passbook savings account.

Abapo has left some P1,000 in her account. She had some P80,000 before, but she withdrew this to buy materials for a home renovation.

Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank is the first bank in Cebu to be placed under PDIC receivership this year, and the second in the country after Rural Bank of Villaviciosa (Abra) Inc. In 2015, BSP’s Monetary Board closed down and placed 14 banks under PDIC receivership.