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Fraudsters Overwhelm Banking Operations, Nigerians Cry Out

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Nigerians are worried that the activities of fraudsters in banks across the country may have overwhelmed banking operations despite efforts at curbing them.

 

Gen Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, and chairman of the recent first extra ordinary fellowship investiture of the Charted Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), called for urgent action by banks and government to stem the tide.

 

Gowon said the Nigerian banking and finance industry has in recent time been plagued with frauds and unethical practices.

 

“No day passes without reports of frauds and other unethical practices in the industry. This constitutes a big threat to the values of trust and professionalism which ought to be the basic principles of the banking industry. I am imploring the government, banks and security agencies to further beam their searchlights in the direction of fraudsters who make banking difficult”, Gowon said.

 

Over the years, technology has helped banks in the country improve efficiencies as they churn out one form of innovations or the other with huge contribution to bottom line.

 

However, just as banks are making money through technology, banks’ customers are daily losing billions of naira, no thanks to technological innovations and upgrade by fraudsters.

 

Daily Independent reported that latest developments have shown that technology, which has given banks so much leverage among themselves, seems not enough to curtail cases of internet fraud in the banking system.

 

The rising cases of bank fraud in Nigeria are assuming an alarming proportion and, in the process, causing genuine worries to policy makers and bank regulators.

 

There are indications that despite efforts by the authorities to curb the menace and clean up the system, the banking sector is still under heavy burden of fraud cases.

 

For instance, in the first six months of 2018, a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recorded 20,768 cases that gulped N19.77 billion were recorded, but the actual loss by banks under the same period was N12.06 billion.

 

According to the report, there were 20,768 reported cases of fraud and forgery (attempted and successful), valued at N19.77 billion in the review period, compared with 16,762 cases, involving N5.52 billion and $ 0.12 million in the corresponding period of 2017.

 

“The actual loss by banks to fraud and forgery, however, amounted to N12.06 billion, compared with the N0.78 billion and $0.03 million, suffered in the first half of 2017.

 

“The reported fraud and forgery incidences were perpetrated by both bank staff and non-bank culprits. The cases involved armed robbery attacks, fraudulent ATM withdrawals, draft defalcation, illegal funds transfer, pilfering of cash, stealing, suppression and conversion of customers’ deposits,” it added.

 

The report revealed that fraud and forgery incidences were perpetrated by both bank staff and non-bank people.

 

In the period under review, the actual loss by banks to fraud and forgery amounted to N12.06 billion, compared with the N0.78 billion and $0.03 million, suffered in the first half of 2017.

 

The report also shows that the number of fraud related cases increased by 4,006 compared to 16,762 cases involving N5.52 billion and $ 0.12 million in the corresponding period of 2017.

 

According to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the number of fraud cases attributed to internal abuse by staff of banks increased from 231 in 2016 to 320 in 2017.

 

Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, head, Communications and Public Affairs of NDIC, said the figure was in the organisation’s recent report on off-site supervision of the Deposit Money Banks.

 

“The report relied on a total of 286 responses received from 26 banks during the period and there were 22 NIL monthly responses from the banks as at year ended December 31, 2017

 

“The 286 responses received from banks in 2017 cited 26,182 cases of fraud and forgeries which is 56.30 per cent higher compared to 16,751 cases reported in 2016.

 

“Similarly, the amount involved in the fraudulent activities documented increased by N3.33 billion from the N8.68 billion reported in 2016 to N12.01 billion in 2017 or 38 per cent.

 

Cybercrime experts blame the rising incidences of insider-related fraud cases in banks on poverty and weak internal control measures in banks.

 

They also accuse banks of inadequate rendition of returns on instances of fraud, forgeries, and cases involving members of their staff who were either dismissed or had their appointments terminated on grounds of fraudulent activities.

 

Dr Victoria Enape, Pro-tem President, Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN) said training had become necessary going by the global acknowledgment of corruption in most government and financial institution and its (corruption) rejection by the United Nation (UN), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

“Government at all levels are losing billions of Naira every day and most of these criminal cases bordering on fraud, corruption and cyber-crimes are partly because there are no forensic and investigative auditors in Nigeria to prevent fraud from taking place.

 

“The place of training of forensic and investigative auditors cannot be over emphasised because the whole world has embraced this current trend years ago which has assisted them in the fight against fraud,” Enape said.


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E-Financial

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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