Marcos appoints top banker to MB

Marcos appoints top banker to MB
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WALTER C.
WASSMER — FIRST PHILIPPINE HOLDINGS CORP. WEBSITE

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has appointed banker Walter C. Wassmer to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) rate-setting body, according to a Palace statement.

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Prior to his appointment, Mr. Wassmer was a consultant and nonexecutive director of Sy-led BDO Unibank, Inc., the country’s largest bank in terms of assets.

The announcement comes weeks after the resignation of two Monetary Board (MB) members who were embroiled in a scandal involving “ghost employees.”

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A Bloomberg report earlier said Malacañang had accepted the resignation of MB members Anita Linda R. Aquino and V. Bruce J. Tolentino, effective June 30.

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When asked whether Mr. Marcos has found a replacement for the remaining MB vacancy, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said in a Viber message: “None for now.”

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Mr. Wassmer and the other appointee will complete the unexpired terms of Ms. Aquino and Mr. Tolentino or until July 2026.

Mr. Wassmer is a seasoned banker, having held positions at BDO, Far East Bank and Trust Co. and Union Bank of the Philippines, Inc. (UnionBank).  He was also a senior board adviser at Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. from November 2022.

Mr. Wassmer was senior executive vice-president and head of institutional banking group at BDO from 1997 to 2022. He was chairman and officer-in-charge of BDO Elite Savings Bank, Inc.

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He was also senior vice-president of the Far East Bank from 1986 to 1997; assistant vice-president of UnionBank from 1983 to 1986; and corporate account officer of the Bancom Finance Corp. from 1980 to 1982.

He has also held director positions in several companies, including BDO Finance Corp., MMPC Auto Financial Services Corp. and Mabuhay Vinyl Corp.

Mr. Wassmer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from De La Salle University.

The Monetary Board exercises the powers and functions of the BSP including the conduct of monetary policy. It is composed of seven members including BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr.

The other MB members are Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto, former BSP Governor and Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, former Finance Undersecretary Romeo L. Bernardo and former National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon.

The Monetary Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Mr. Remolona has said the BSP is still “on track towards reducing rates” despite risks to the inflation outlook. He earlier said that the central bank could cut rates by 25 basis points (bps) in the third quarter, and by another 25 bps in the fourth quarter. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza





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