The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Philippines' Espenilla: publicly positive appointment, but behind closed doors…

Reaction to Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Nestor Espenilla Jr as the new governor of the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has been publicly positive.

Nestor Espenilla Jr's hamster-cheeked grin masks a tough individual

Nesting, as he is known to his friends, has been with the BSP for 36 years, and is an admired lieutenant of much-loved departing governor Amando Tetangco Jr.

Behind closed doors, however, there are probably a few who aren’t so pleased to see Espenilla in the top job. As deputy governor for banking supervision and regulation, he took on a lot of villains, and his hamster-cheeked grin masks a tough individual.

Among the institutions that might not be raising a glass to his promotion is RCBC, controlled by the powerful Yuchengco family. Espenilla hit the bank with a P1 billion fine over the $81 million Bangladesh bank heist, some of which passed through RCBC accounts.

Another might be Roberto Ongpin – the trade secretary under Ferdinand Marcos – who can’t stand Espenilla after the Anti-Money Laundering Council, under Espenilla’s chairmanship, froze Ongpin and his companies’ bank accounts over irregularities in Ongpin’s purchase of Philex Mining shares in 2009.

A third could be the Aguirre family, whose bank Banco Filipino was closed at Espenilla’s insistence in 2011.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?