The Monetary Board (MB) has decided with finality to revoke the license as electronic money issuer as well as the registration to operate a payment system of financial technology firm SquidPay Technology Inc.
This happened as SquidPay founder Marvin dela Cruz faces a criminal case filed by erstwhile partner Premiere Horizon Alliance Corp (PHA).
In June 2022, the MB approved a resolution that revoked SquidPay’s license to do business as a nonbank financial institution, particularly as a money transfer agent.
The resolution also laid down the cancellation of SquidPay’s registration as an operator of a payment system.
The company moved for the MB to reconsider these actions, but the regulator issued a resolution dated Jan. 19 denying SquidPay’s motion with finality.
In a statement, the MB said SquidPay’s license was revoked and its registration canceled in relation to the Manual of Regulations for Non-Bank Financial Institutions and the New Central Bank Act as well as the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, “and for violation of its notarized deed of undertaking.”
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ charter provides that the MB may take such actions “whenever a bank or quasi-bank persists in carrying on its business in an unlawful or unsafe manner.”
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange dated Jan. 26, PHA said the Office of the Prosecutor of Pasig City has issued a resolution finding probable cause to indict and bind for trial SquidPay founder Dela Cruz along with Augusto Antonio Serafica Jr., a PHA director.
This stemmed from a criminal complaint for estafa that PHA filed on Dec. 6, 2022, before the Office of the Prosecutor in Pasig City.
The company alleges that Serafica and Dela Cruz misappropriated P32 million in corporate funds in connection with a Bonifacio Global City Project.
The investment holding firm said, however, that the legal proceedings do not affect the company’s operation.
In November 2021, PHA obtained board approval to buy 33 percent of SquidPay for P561 million as part of a deal that ceded control of PHA’s boardroom and management to Squidpay’s owners.
—Ronnel W. Domingo
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