EastWest Bank: Affidavit of complaint filed before Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas – FCAG

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Article 2 of Republic Act No. 7394, otherwise known as Consumer Act of the Philippines states that ” It is the policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry.” Now, the question is “How well are we protected as consumers?”

On January 11, 2018 I personally went to Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation in Makati and Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas to hand-carry my Affidavit Of Complaint against EastWest Bank (the bank),  Jonathan Gotianun – CEO and President, and Adrian Wilson E. Salazar – AVP & Head, Customer Service Department. Below is the actual content of the complaint affidavit:

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January, 11, 2018

 

Financial Consumer Protection Department
Central Supervisory Support Subsector 
Supervision and Examination Sector
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
5th floor Multi-Storey Building
BSP Complex, Ermita
1800 Manila

AFFIDAVIT OF COMPLAINT

 

That I, The Team Lead (pen name), of legal age, married, Filipino and a resident of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Binan, Laguna after having been duly sworn to according to law hereby depose and say:

That I am a depositor and credit card account holder of EastWest Bank. I am executing this affidavit to file a formal complaint against respondents EastWest Bank (the bank), EastWest Bank CEO/President Jonathan Gotianun, and EastWest Bank AVP Adrian Wilson E Salazar for conspicuous neglect to comply with Sec. X705 (2008 – X624 and App. 70) Consumer Protection for Electronic Banking for the following grounds:

  • Violation of X705.1 (2008 – App. 70). As stipulated therein E-Banking oversight function (a) Bank’s board of directors (BOD) and a senior management committee are responsible for developing the bank’s e-banking business strategy and establishing an effective management oversight over e-banking services.

 

  • Violation of X705.4 (2008 – App. 70) Appendix 70d and/or Circular No. 542 Series of 2006. EastWest Bank including its AVP Adrian Wilson E. Salazar and CEO Jonathan Gotianun conspicuously failed to have effective capacity, business continuity and contingency planning. They should have the ability to deliver e-banking services to all end-users and be able to maintain such availability in all circumstances (e.g., 24/7 availability).

 

  • Violation of consumer privacy and protection. As stated in X705.4 (2008 – App. 70) Banks are required to provide their customers with a level of comfort regarding information disclosures or transparencies, protection of customer data and business availability that they can expect when using traditional banking services. To minimize operational, legal and reputational risks associated with e-banking activities, banks should make adequate disclosure of information and take appropriate measures to ensure adherence to customer privacy and protection requirements.

 

In this regard, I have hereunto put into writing substantial facts and evidences in chronological order, as they happened to support my complaint and claim. To wit:

That the incident first occurred when I had an ATM Cash Debit Without Dispense using Bank Of Commerce’s machine in Pacita, San Pedro, Laguna last around the last week of June of 2017. I was under the impression that the fault was with Bank Of Commerce but it turned out to be otherwise when. It was almost over a week and still BoC provided no concrete resolution about the issue. I copied EastWest Bank with my reply email to the concerned bank and after a day EastWest Bank made a credit adjustment in to my EWB account. As per my phone conversation with a lady manager of Bank Of Commerce – San Pedro Branch it took them a while to resolve the issue since they were not getting any response nor feedback with EastWest Bank. Attached herewith are the communications I had with Bank Of Commerce:

  • Annex A: Copy of emails to and from the undersigned and Bank Of Commerce dated July 4, 2017
  • Annex B: Email correspondents dated July 5, 2017
  • Annex C: Follow email to Bank of Commerce dated July 7, 2017
  • Annex D: Email correspondents to Bank Of Commerce and EastWest Bank dated July 10, 2017

 

That on August 14, 2017 my EastWest Bank account was debited when I was trying to make an online purchase for my business. I thought it was only an error on the merchant’s end but after I talked to the manager of the Michigan U.S.A.-based company, who really took the time to call me the same day theat the incident happened, he clarified and confirmed that the decline was with my bank, EastWest Bank. (Report ID 60035).

  • Annex E: Email communications with EastWest Bank re: Visa POS Debit dated August 14 and 15, 2017. (Highlighted)
  • Annex E-A: Email communication with A2 Hosting regarding declined debit transaction dated August 14, 2017.

 

That on the evening of August 17, 2017 around 8:00pm to 9:00pm, I was trying to make a cash withdrawal using one of my EastWest Bank ATM prepaid card at a teller machine of Security Bank in Pacita, San Pedro, Laguna. My daughter was with me when this third incident happened. The need was urgent, had I known that I will but suffering the same issue again I should have had used my other bank accounts with my other banks instead.

  • Annex F: Email communications sent to EastWest Bank reporting the ATM Cash Withdrawal Debit without dispense.
  • Annex G: Follow-up email sent by the undersigned on August 18, 2017.
  • Annex G-1: Reply email of EastWest regarding my follow up dated

 

That on August 23, 2017 another issue transpired again causing my main website to be shut down for non-payment of the recurring debit with the vendor I have based in the UK. I was already too late to resolve the issue with the vendor. For some apparent reason a domain name, id est www.stanleyfreud.com from another vendor Interserver, that I own was paid even though it was not due yet for renewal. I was already away from my computer and was on my way to work when the payment happened. None of my household the access codes that I have for each websites that I maintain. I spent years and money to build my websites and yet due to EastWest Bank’s defective banking system. My main company website, Clickerwayne.com, is and was and will never be a blog site as mentioned by EastWest Bank’s Customer Service Representative handling my issue. I have specifically mentioned this in my emails and verbally stated to them that Clickerwayne.com is a “Company Website” offering marketing , advertising, lead generation and website design and development services, but they refused to accept that fact merely because they are trying to derail the whole issue and avoid having to pay the financial damages they have caused me.

  • Annex H: Email notification sent to EastWest regarding the shut down of my main company website Clickerwayne.com dated August 23, 2017 (See highlighted)
  • Annex H-1: Notice that the email address that I used to communicate with Eastwest Bank was no longer my own domain since Clickerwayne.com was already shut down during the daytime. I used my yahoo mail instead on the evening of August 23, 2017 7:32PM (See Highlighted)
  • Annex I: Email dated August 24, 2017 regarding the unauthorized domain renewal of stanleyfreud.com with Eastwest Bank’s reply to the concern.
  • Annex J: Stanley Freud.com domain registration payment accepted from Interserver.

 

That on August 26, 2017, my 6 year old son and I were in Festival mall to buy myself a new laptop and the toy he had been asking me buy for him. The toy was already in the possession of my son when we were waiting at the customer section of the store to resolve the issue with EastWest bBank. It was really humiliating experience infront of the other customers and personnel of the department store. I had the chance to talk to the representative of the bank but I was only advised to pay the transaction in cash which I did not agree at all. Saddest part my son and I went our of the store without the toy car. I saw how frustrated my son was when I looked onto his face when we were walking out of the store. In the letter of apology of EastWest Bank this concern was never mentioned nor addressed at all by AVP Adrian Wilson E Salazar. A malicious and deliberate act of neglecting the issue raised.

  • Annex K: Email dated August 29, 2017 airing my complete dissatisfaction
  • Annex L: Reply email dated August 31, 2017 sent to EastWest Bank
  • Annex M: Reply email dated September 1, 2017 sent to EastWest Bank
  • Annex N: Reply email dated September 5, 2017 sent to EastWest Bank
  • Annex O: Reply email dated September 6, 2017 sent to EastWest Bank
  • Annex P: Reply email dated September 7, 2017 sent to EastWest Bank
  • Annex Q: EastWest back notification to credit the debited amount.

That on September 28, 2017 I raised another concern to EastWest Bank regarding an unknown transfer out of my saving account that was posted on September 27, 2017 amounting to Php1,197.87 which I am not familiar nor aware of. The customer service of EastWest Bank had instructed me to visit the branch where I opened my account. As evidenced on the email thread I had with EastWest. On October 2, 2017 EastWest Representative provided me the address that I should be vising, (It was a test I made if they are really properly handling my issues and concern. I know where exactly I opened the account since it was just near my office in Mckinley. I already knew before hand that my home branch will be merged with another store in BGC. Also on the same day I received a notification from EastWest Bank stating that they have debited by savings account as a right of set-off for my credit card. However, I find it a big lie that they are unable to reach me whereas EastWest Bank had been calling me. The number they indicated on the email notification no longer exist and is no longer under my possession for the longest time.

  • Annex R: Email sent to EastWest dated September 28, 2017 with the subject line Alleged Fraudulent Funds Transfer (See highlighted)
  • Annex R-1: Email exchange between the undersigned and EastWest regarding visiting the branch to resolve the issue.
  • Annex S: Email reply to EastWest with my personal information for their verification procedure before disclosing any information on where I opened my account.
  • Annex S-1: Email sent by EastWest with the address of the branch
  • Annex T: Notification I received dated August 22, 2017 from EastWest Bank stating that effective October 2 the Mckinley Hill Branch will be merged with their store in BGC.
  • Annex U: Notification received from EWB Cards Collection.

 

That on October 27, as soon as I got home I went online to make some transfers and pay some important bill that I have to pay ahead of time. All of the payments I did with my other account from another bank went perfectly fine. After that I went on to use my accounts. I transferred money from one account to the other and initiate the transactions I needed to make. I paid my Eastwest Credit Card which was due not until November 9. Then, I tried to make a payment for my online advertisements for the amount of Php2,000.00, but unfortunately the transaction did not go through at all since your bank declined it as per the prompt that appeared on my screen but when I checked my Eastwest account the amount had already been debited. I always ensure that my advertisement bills are paid before they are fully maxed out to avoid any inconvenience and problems. With this declined transaction caused by your bank, even though I have sufficient balance in my account, all of my advertisements automatically stopped from being served. Without my ads running, it’s a TOTAL FINANCIAL LOSS for my business and it affects the global ranking of my websites. The representative who was handling the issue called me around 6pm or 7pm that day and blatantly told me that the can credit back the amount ASAP so that I can pay what I had to pay. I found that way too odd, as if there was something really going on, so I refused the offer.

  • Annex V-1: Screenshot of the declined payment for my advertisement with google
  • Annex V-2: Screenshot of my Eastwest account with the balance. Notice that I am no longer keeping such amount since I am intend not to bank with EastWest.
  • Annex W-1 and W2: Copy of the Open Letter of Complaint and Transaction Dispute sent to EastWest Via Email and as posted on my website https://www.clickerwayne.com/eastwestbank.php on the same day that the incident happened.

Last account related issues that occurred when I was in Vietnam and a few days after I arrived home. Please refer to the following annexes for detailed description of the incident.

  • Annex X: Actual complaint as posted on my social media account on December 13, 2017
  • Annex X1: My EastWest Cards
  • Annex X2: Sacombank ATM withdrawal receipt using my Mastercard with my other bank.
  • Annex X3: HSBC ATM receipts – declined using my EastWest Card
  • Annex X4: Citibank ATM withdrawal receipt using my EastWest Card. Amount already dismished.
  • Annex Y: Email received from EastWest Bank asking for my Financial Statement for my losses.

Furthermore, on top of the account related issues I had with EastWest Bank due to their faulty and unreliable, and untrustworthy banking system and procedures another concern I would like to bring up is their intrusion on my privacy as a person. To wit:

  • I received a notification from Facebook about such post was reported requested for deletion by EastWest Bank. The reported post dated way back in the early part of the year 2016. I am not sure far did they go in checking my Facebook Profile but this is a clear manifestation of retaliation on EastWest Bank’s end. In relation to this, On December 13, 2017, when I warned EastWest Bank not to check on my facebook profile the representative clearly stated: “Our FB Helpdesk is here to assist clients and answer product and service queries, we do not go into our clients’ social media accounts. We forward our responses through FB PM only. Our CS Team may directly contact you through your contact details for updates. Thank you” This statement is an absolute lie and does not deserve a grain of salt. EastWest Bank went onto my facebook profile and made a number of comments on my two posts on November 3, 2017 and they even replied via comment to another customer also airing a concern.
  1. Annex Z: Facebook notification pop-up after logging in.
  2. Annex Z1-A, Z1-B, Z1-C: Social media post of the undersigned immediately after the $1.00 declined transaction on Nov. 3, 2017 showing EastWest Bank commenting on my post.
  3. Annex Z1-D: Nov. 9, 2017 post showing give-away basket of goods sent by EastWest along with the apology letter signed by the bank’s AVP Adrian Wilson E. Salazar.

 

  • One of my biggest clients for the business I am running asked me about my issue with EastWest Bank. I narrated the whole story to my client and there I found out that an inquiry via phone call was made. My client was asked by EastWest Bank about me which I really find it unethical and uncalled for. This made me to feel more threatened as EastWest Bank is executing such act that is beyond my rights as a private individual and consumer. An act of intimidation and retaliation to shut me up.

 

  • On December 13, 2017, when I notified EastWest Bank about my Vietnam and Php500.00 ATM withdrawal debit incidents, it is without a doubt that they are not really giving any protection on the privacy and protection of their customer’s account and information. I did send them a screen shot of my account transaction history without showing my whole or actual account and card number. As far as I understand banks are required to conduct standard verification process before assisting or disclosing such account information when such dispute arises. As evidenced on the screenshot of the conversation I’ve had with the bank, whoever the representative was did not bother to ask for my account number or have myself verified first like the normal procedure that I experienced the first time I communicated to them on October 27, 2017 and as evident on Annex S.

 

  1. Annex Z2-A, Z2-B, Z2-C, Z2-D, Z2-E: Screenshot of the undersigned’s conversation thread with EastWest Bank.

 

  • With EastWest Bank’s faulty, unreliable, and untrustworthy banking system, procedure and customer service, as mentioned herein, caused the small business that I am running to suffer financial losses and drastic decline in website traffic and revenue. Five of my websites, namely:

 

Clickerwayne.com                           – Main company’s website offering lead generation, digital marketing, advertising, website design and development, systems design and development services (Relaunched and became fully operational again on January 8, 2018).

 

Biyaheko.net                                     – Owned network website for travel and tours with installed paid to click ads for lead generation (Still under construction but was partially relaunched on December 18, 2017 as a travel blog site for niche and affiliate marketing and brand promotion).

 

TheTeamLead.com                          – Owned network blog website with installed paid to click ads for niche marketing and deep linking (Still under construction).

 

TheTravelBrewer.com                    – Subsidized network website with installed paid to click ads serving as a search engine for travel and tours. (Still under construction but was officially relaunched from Vietnam as a full travel and tour commercial website on December 6, 2017).

 

Kolotibablo.livecity.me                – Owned network website with installed paid to click ads for online data entry/captcha (Still under construction but was relaunched on September 4, 2017).

 

 

were seriously affected and shut down for operation after domain Clickerwayne.com, which is my main company’s website and webhost, was not renewed due to a declined debit card payment for its renewal even though there was sufficient funds in the account.

 

  1. Annex Z3-A: Proof of ownership of the above mentioned websites as verified through Google Adsense.
  2. Annex Z3-B and Z3-C: Generated Google Adwords data report on showing the drastic decrease of websites traffic for the month of August.
  3. Annex Z3-D: Generated Google Adsense monthly earning/revenue report in graph format.
  4. Annex Z3-E: Generated Google Adsense monthly earning/revenue report in USDollar currency.
  5. Annex Z3-F: Generated Google Adsense monthly earning/revenue report in Philippine Peso currency.
  6. Annex Z3-G: Generated Google Adsense website traffic report from Feb 27, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017. This generated report shows the top 10 countries for traffic and revenue.

 

That I am executing this affidavit of affidavit to file a formal complaint for Violation of consumer privacy and protection, Violation of X705.4 (2008 – App. 70) Appendix 70d and/or Circular No. 542 Series of 2006, and Violation of X705.1 (2008 – App. 70) against  EastWest Bank (the bank), EastWest Bank CEO/President Jonathan Gotianum, and EastWest Bank AVP Adrian Wilson E Salazar, and to demand for monetary compensation for the severe inconvenience; moral damages and damages to assets/properties amounting to the sum of  _______________________________________________  (PHPXXX).

Computation and Breakdown:

Php XXX                    = Computed Average revenue based on the combined monthly Google Adsense revenue from May 1, 2017 to July 31, 2017 and September 1, 2017 – November 30, 2017.

Computation
Add:      USD XXX          May 1 – 31, 2017
XXX          Jun 1 – 30, 2017
XXX          Jul 1 – 31, 2017
XXX          Sep 21 – 30, 2017
XXX          Oct 1 – 31, 2017
           XXX      Nov 1 – 30, 2017
USD XXX
Divide:                 6Mos
USD  XXX
X                    PHP50.00      USD exchange rate to PHP

TOTAL  PHPXXX

Php XXX                  = Total value of all 5 websites at PhpXXX each. (Covering sites’ value, popularity, Search Engine Optimization and ranking, expenses for web re-design, building and development, developers and programmers fee)

Php XXX                    = Total revenue loss for 4 months (September – December) for none generation of leads. Computed based on the average monthly revenue of PhpXXX for leads generation.

Php XXX                  = Inconvenience fee and Moral Damages

PHP XXX                 = Total amount for damages.                     

 

Sincerely yours,

 

THE TEAM LEAD
Consumer – Complainant
cc: File / BSP-FCAG / PDIC / EastWest Bank