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SIMEX INTERNATIONAL v.

CA form of loans when needed but more often in the conduct of their day-to-day
G.R. No. 88013. 89 SCRA 360. March 19, 1990 – BARREDO transactions like the issuance or encashment of checks.

Petitioner: SIMEX INTERNATIONAL (MANILA), INCORPORATED In every case, the depositor expects the bank to treat his account with the utmost
Respondents: THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and TRADERS ROYAL BANK fidelity, whether such account consists only of a few hundred pesos or of millions. The
bank must record every single transaction accurately, down to the last centavo, and as
DOCTRINE: As a business affected with public interest and because of the nature of its promptly as possible. This has to be done if the account is to reflect at any given time
functions, the bank is under obligation to treat the accounts of its depositors with the amount of money the depositor can dispose of as he sees fit, confident that the
meticulous care, always having in mind the fiduciary nature of their relationship. bank will deliver it as and to whomever he directs. A blunder on the part of the bank,
such as the dishonor of a check without good reason, can cause the depositor not a
FACTS: little embarrassment if not also financial loss and perhaps even civil and criminal
 Petitioner Simex International is a private corporation engaged in the exportation litigation.
of food products.
 Simex was a depositor of respondent Traders Royal Bank and maintained a The point is that as a business affected with public interest and because of the nature of
checking account in one of its branches. its functions, the bank is under obligation to treat the accounts of its depositors with
 Simex deposited to its account in the said bank the amount of P100,000.00, thus meticulous care, always having in mind the fiduciary nature of their relationship.
increasing its balance to P190,380.74.
 Subsequently, Simex issued several checks against its deposit but was surprised to In the case at bar, it is obvious that the respondent bank was remiss in that duty and
learn later that they had been dishonored for insufficient funds. violated that relationship. What is especially deplorable is that, having been informed of
 As a consequence, several of Simex’s suppliers withheld delivery of orders and its error in not crediting the deposit in question to the petitioner, the respondent bank
threatened prosecution if the dishonored checks issued were not made good. did not immediately correct it but did so only one week later or twenty-three days after
 Simex complained to Traders Royal Bank. the deposit was made. It bears repeating that the record does not contain any
 Investigation disclosed that the sum of P100,000.00 deposited by Simex had not satisfactory explanation of why the error was made in the first place and why it was not
been credited to it. The error was rectified and the dishonored checks were paid corrected immediately after its discovery.
after they were re-deposited.
 Simex demanded reparation from Traders Royal Bank for its "gross and wanton
negligence."
 When its demand was not met, Simex then filed a complaint claiming from the
Traders Royal Bank moral damages and exemplary damages plus attorney's fees
and costs.

RULING OF THE LOWER COURTS:


 CFI – rendered judgment holding that moral and exemplary damages were not
called for under the circumstances but ordered Royal Traders Bank to pay
nominal damages plus attorney's fees and costs
 CA – affirmed in toto the CFI decision
o Royal Traders Bank was guilty of negligence but Simex was not entitled to
moral damages.

ISSUE: Whether respondent bank can be held liable for negligence even if it rectified its
error. – YES.

RULING + RATIO:
The banking system is an indispensable institution in the modern world and plays a vital
role in the economic life of every civilized nation. Whether as mere passive entities for
the safekeeping and saving of money or as active instruments of business and
commerce, banks have become an ubiquitous presence among the people, who have
come to regard them with respect and even gratitude and, most of all, confidence.
Thus, even the humble wage-earner has not hesitated to entrust his life's savings to the
bank of his choice, knowing that they will be safe in its custody and will even earn some
interest for him. The ordinary person, with equal faith, usually maintains a modest
checking account for security and convenience in the settling of his monthly bills and
the payment of ordinary expenses. As for business entities like the petitioner, the bank is
a trusted and active associate that can help in the running of their affairs, not only in the