PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK vs. HON. ROMULO S. QUIMPO
and FRANCISCO S. GOZON II
G.R. No. L-53194, March 14, 1988
Francisco Gozon was a depositor of the Philippine National Bank (PNB Caloocan City branch). Ernesto Santos, Gozon’s friend, took a check from the latter’s checkbook which was left in the car, filled it up for the amount of P5,000, forged Gozon’s signature, and encashed it. Gozon learned about the transaction upon receipt of the bank’s statement of account, and requested the bank to recredit the amount to his account. The bank refused. Hence, the present action.
Whether or not the bank shall bear the loss resulting from the forged check.
Yes. The prime duty of a bank is to ascertain the genuineness of the signature of the drawer or the depositor on the check being encashed. It is expected to use reasonable business prudence in accepting and cashing a check being encashed or presented to it. Payment in neglect of duty places upon him the result of such negligence. Still, Gozon’s act in leaving his checkbook in the car, where his trusted friend remained in, cannot be considered negligence sufficient to excuse the bank from its own negligence. The bank bears the loss.