Fraud, forgery, theft in banks fall by 48% – NDIC

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August 4, 2017/Punch

’Femi Asu

The banking industry recorded a decline of 48.12 per cent in the rate of successful fraud incidences, forgery and theft last year, compared to 2015, according to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive, NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, disclosed this while delivering a lecture, entitled: ‘The role of NDIC in mitigating corruption in the Nigerian banks, at the general meeting of Abuja Chapter of the Alumni Association of the National Institute.

Ibrahim, who was represented by a Deputy Director in Research, Policy and International Relations Department, Mr. Hashim Ahmad, said the reported cases of fraud, forgery and outright theft involving bank staff dropped from N18.02bn in 2015 to N8.68bn in 2016.

He said the actual losses to the nation’s banking industry dropped by 24.29 per cent from N3.17bn in 2015 to N2.40bn in 2016.

According to him, the level of attempted cases of fraud and forgery declined by N0.329bn or 11.94 per cent from N2.756bn in March 2017 to N2.427bn in June 2017.

The NDIC boss said although reported cases of fraud and forgery rose by 36.42 per cent from 12,279 cases in 2015 to 16,751 cases in 2016, the reduction in the rate of successful fraud incidences and actual losses was an indication of improved regulatory/supervisory oversight, increased vigilance by banks and the deployment of improved security architecture in the industry.

He attributed corruption in Nigerian banks to poor corporate governance, infractions in foreign exchange operations, cumbersome legal process and lack of effective sanctions of offenders, among others.

Ibrahim said the NDIC, in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria, continuously supervised the banks to ensure their strict adherence to sound corporate governance practices.

He added that issues bordering on unethical financial practices and the resolution of conflicts between customers and their banks were being addressed by the Bankers’ Committee.

Noting the rising trend in the level of banks’ non-performing loans, he said the NDIC had recommended the prohibition of directors of licensed banks, including microfinance banks and primary mortgage banks, from obtaining credit facilities from their respective banks.

Ibrahim said the NDIC collaborated with other stakeholders such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Police Special Fraud Unit and the Financial Malpractices Investigation Unit to conduct investigations into banking malpractices.

He also stated that the NDIC provided capacity building programmes for the agencies in addition to seconding some NDIC staff to the institutions to assist them in investigating financial crimes.

He called for continued cooperation and collaboration between regulatory/supervisory authorities, banks, the general public and governments in the fight against corruption in the industry.

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