Simple Loan, Deposit & Bank Deposit

It must be pointed out that when private respondent David invested his money on nine. and savings deposits with the aforesaid bank, the contract that was perfected was a contract of simple loan or mutuum and not a contract of deposit. Thus, Article 1980 of the New Civil Code provides that:

Article 1980. Fixed, savings, and current deposits of-money in banks and similar institutions shall be governed by the provisions concerning simple loan. 

In the case of Central Bank of the Philippines vs. Morfe (63 SCRA 114,119 [1975], the Supreme Court said:

It should be noted that fixed, savings, and current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions are hat true deposits. are considered simple loans and, as such, are not preferred credits (Art. 1980 Civil Code; In re Liquidation of Mercantile Batik of China Tan Tiong Tick vs. American Apothecaries Co., 66 Phil 414; Pacific Coast Biscuit Co. vs. Chinese Grocers Association 65 Phil. 375; Fletcher American National Bank vs. Ang Chong UM 66 PWL 385; Pacific Commercial Co. vs. American Apothecaries Co., 65 PhiL 429; Gopoco Grocery vs. Pacific Coast Biscuit CO.,65 Phil. 443)." 

The Supreme Court also declared in the recent case of Serrano vs. Central Bank of the Philippines (96 SCRA 102 [1980]) that:

Bank deposits are in the nature of irregular deposits. They are really 'loans because they earn interest. All kinds of bank deposits, whether fixed, savings, or current are to be treated as loans and are to be covered by the law on loans (Art. 1980 Civil Code Gullas vs. Phil. National Bank, 62 Phil. 519). Current and saving deposits, are loans to a bank because it can use the same. The petitioner here in making time deposits that earn interests will respondent Overseas Bank of Manila was in reality a creditor of the respondent Bank and not a depositor. The respondent Bank was in turn a debtor of petitioner. Failure of the respondent Bank to honor the time deposit is failure to pay its obligation as a debtor and not a breach of trust arising from a depositary's failure to return the subject matter of the deposit(Emphasis supplied). 

Hence, the relationship between the private respondent and the Nation Savings and Loan Association is that of creditor and debtor; consequently, the ownership of the amount deposited was transmitted to the Bank upon the perfection of the contract and it can make use of the amount deposited for its banking operations, such as to pay interests on deposits and to pay withdrawals. While the Bank has the obligation to return the amount deposited, it has, however, no obligation to return or deliver the same money that was deposited. And, the failure of the Bank to return the amount deposited will not constitute estafa through misappropriation punishable under Article 315, par. l(b) of the Revised Penal Code, but it will only give rise to civil liability over which the public respondents have no- jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court has already laid down the rule that:

In order that a person can be convicted under the above-quoted provision, it must be proven that he has the obligation to deliver or return the some money, goods or personal property that he received Petitioners had no such obligation to return the same money, i.e., the bills or coins, which they received from private respondents. This is so because as clearly as stated in criminal complaints, the related civil complaints and the supporting sworn statements, the sums of money that petitioners received were loans. 
The nature of simple loan is defined in Articles 1933 and 1953 of the Civil Code.

"Art. 1933. — By the contract of loan, one of the parties delivers to another, either something not consumable so that the latter may use the same for a certain time- and return it, in which case the contract is called a commodatum; or money or other consumable thing, upon the condition that the same amount of the same kind and quality shall he paid in which case the contract is simply called a loan or mutuum. 

"Commodatum is essentially gratuitous. 

"Simple loan may be gratuitous or with a stipulation to pay interest. 

"In commodatum the bailor retains the ownership of the thing loaned while in simple loan, ownership passes to the borrower. 

"Art. 1953. — A person who receives a loan of money or any other fungible thing acquires the ownership thereof, and is bound to pay to the creditor an equal amount of the same kind and quality." 

It can be readily noted from the above-quoted provisions that in simple loan (mutuum), as contrasted to commodatum the borrower acquires ownership of the money, goods or personal property borrowed Being the owner, the borrower can dispose of the thing borrowed (Article 248, Civil Code) and his act will not be considered misappropriation thereof' (Yam vs. Malik, 94 SCRA 30, 34 [1979]; Emphasis supplied). (G.R. No. L-60033 April 4, 1984)


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