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Bank staff fraud rose by N12.01bn in 2017 –NDIC

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

Head, Communications and Public Affairs of NDIC, Mohammed Ibrahim, said in a statement in Abuja, yesterday that the figure was in the organisation’s recent report on off-site supervision of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

“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.

“However, the expected/actual loss slightly-decreased by N24.42 million or 1.03 per cent from N2.39 billion in 2016 to N2.37 billion in 2017.”

Ibrahim said Internet/Online-banking and ATM/Card-related fraud-types reported constituted 24,266 or 92.68 per cent of all the reported cases, resulting in N1.51 billion or 63.66 per cent of losses in the industry in 2017.

He said the report also documented other miscellaneous crimes, such as fraudulent transfers/withdrawals, cash suppression, unauthorised credits and fraudulent conversion of cheques.

Others were diversion of customer deposits, diversion of bank charges and presentation of forged or stolen-cheques.

He said 22 licensed commercial banks and four merchant banks rendered 286 returns on dismissed/terminated staff as a result of fraud and forgeries during the year under review.

Ibrahim said out of the 26,182 fraud cases reported by the 26 licensed banks, 320 cases were attributable to internal collaboration by bank staff.

“A total of 320 bank employees had their appointments either terminated or were summarily dismissed in 2017, as against 231 in 2016.

“That represented an increase of 38.53 per cent in the total number of fraud cases reported in 2017.

“However, the losses arising from reported cases decreased from N760 million in 2016 to N682 million or about 11.43 per cent in 2017.”

Ibrahim said NDIC attributed the improvement to additional internal control measures adopted by the banks in the wake of the proactive corrective measures taken to ensure their compliance with good corporate governance principles.

He said NDIC would investigate some banks for  inadequate rendition of returns on instances of fraud, forgeries and cases involving members of staff  dismissed or their appointments terminated on grounds of fraud.

Ibrahim also noted that NDIC made the decision in light of the increase the report revealed and that section 35 and 36 of the NDIC Act No. 16 of 2006 (as amended) requires all DMBs to submit monthly information/returns on fraud and forgeries to the corporation.

He said in spite of the Fidelity Insurance Cover taken by banks to address fraud perpetrated by staff, there was still need for the banks to further enhance their internal control and security measures.

The NDIC spokesman also said this was because of the rising trend of E-Channels (Online banking and Card-related) fraud and forgeries in the industry, which remained a serious cause for concern to the organisation.

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