Saturday , July 13 2024

Local court slams private bank for unauthorised withdrawals of $1.8m

A local court in Khánh Hoà Province has ruled against a private bank after uncovering multiple unauthorised withdrawals totaling VNĐ46.9 billion (US$1.83 million) from a client’s account.

A branch of Sacombank in HCM City. — VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp

HCM CITY — A local court in Khánh Hoà Province has ruled against a private bank after uncovering multiple unauthorised withdrawals totaling VNĐ46.9 billion (US$1.83 million) from a client’s account.

The first-instance court on Thursday ordered Sacombank’s Cam Ranh branch to reimburse VNĐ36.2 billion, including accrued interest and compensation, to Hồ Thị Thùy Dương, the plaintiff in the legal case.

The sum includes the principal amount of VNĐ26.9 billion after deducting the previously advanced VNĐ20 billion at the plaintiff’s request, as well as accrued interest of VNĐ7 billion and compensation of VNĐ2.3 billion for damages suffered by the plaintiff.

The court also ordered the bank to return two land ownership certificates that were held as collateral for the previously advanced amount.

The plaintiff initiated legal action against the bank in mid-2022 after the funds from her account at the bank’s Cam Ranh transaction office “disappeared under suspicious circumstances.”

The woman had sought the full return of the amount along with accrued interest and compensation for damages incurred.

An investigation by the Khánh Hoà provincial police uncovered a total of 12 unauthorised withdrawal transactions, including cash withdrawals outside of business hours and internet banking transfers to unknown recipients, all without the account owner’s consent.

The plaintiff denied any involvement in these transactions, as she and her family were traveling in Phú Quốc at the time.

The Procuracy supported the plaintiff’s lawsuit, seeking the return of the principal amount, accrued interest, and the two land use rights certificates, citing the unauthorised nature of the transactions and deficiencies in the bank’s withdrawal procedures.

The bank rejected the ruling, claiming the plaintiff had signed all 12 withdrawal documents, a claim refuted by the plaintiff.

The bank defended the advance of VNĐ20 billion as assistance in response to the plaintiff’s financial difficulties.

Following embezzlement charges against four officials from Sacombank’s Cam Ranh branch, multiple customers, including Dương, have reported instances of financial fraud.

The Vietnamese banking sector has been facing criticism for inadequate management, leading to customer losses from unexplained fund disappearances.

Banks typically disclaim responsibility for such losses and advise customers to await police investigations, a lengthy process that often takes many years. — VNS

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