SAN CARLOS MINING V. BPI
59 PHIL 59
(FORGED SIGNATURE OF DRAWER)
Wilson, a principal employee of petitioner, together with Wilson, a messenger-clerk, conspired to withdraw cash from the petitioner’s account through forgery of a check, in the name of the agent authorized to sign the check.
While the authorized agent of petitioner was on vacation, Wilson and Dolores sent a cablegram to China Banking for the transfer of $100,000. On the contract, the name of Baldwin was forged and it was indicated therein that a certified check be issued. Thereafter, this was received and
deposited with the BPI. Upon deposit, an indorsement in the name of Baldwin was placed. The bank account was credited. Later, a letter was sent to the bank, purporting to be signed by Baldwin asking that it be withdrawn. This was done in supervision of Dolores. Dolores and Wilson then was able to get the money. This eventually came to the knowledge of plaintiff who filed an action against China Banking and BPI. The trial court dismissed the case.
A bank is bound to know the signatures of its customers and if it pays a forged check, it must be considered as making the payment out of its own funds, and cannot ordinarily charge the amount so paid to the account of the depositor whose name was forged.
There is no act of the plaintiff that led the bank astray. If it was in fact lulled into the false sense of security, it was by the effrontery of Dolores, the messenger to whom it entrusted this large sum of money.
The proximate cause of the loss must therefore be due to the negligence of the bank in honoring and cashing the two forged checks.