BPI Family Bank v Buenaventura; G.R. No. 148196; 30 Sep 2005; 471 SCRA 431

in Legal Chyme by

Fund transfers effected on the basis of an Authority of Debit bearing forged signatures of certain officers of First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC), transferring money from FMIC’s account to the current account of Tevesteco Arrastre Stevedoring Co., Inc.

Whether or not BPI-FB was negligent and therefore should bear the loss caused by the fraud.

NO. Every bank that issues checks for the use of its customers should know whether or not the drawer’s signature thereon is genuine, whether there are sufficient funds in the drawers account to cover checks issued, and it should be able to detect alterations, erasures, superimpositions or intercalations thereon, for these instruments are prepared, printed and issued by itself, it has control of the drawer’s account, and it is supposed to be familiar with the drawer’s signature. It should possess appropriate detecting devices for uncovering forgeries and/or alterations on these instruments. Unless a forgery or alteration is attributable to the fault or negligence of the drawer himself, the remedy of the drawee bank that negligently clears a forged and/or altered check for payment is against the party responsible for the forgery or alteration, otherwise, it bears the loss.

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