As part of efforts to address negative corruptive perception index in the Nigerian financial environment, where fraud level is in significant figures and increasing in sophistication, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs, operating in the country have concluded plans to unveil a database that will eliminate or reduce to the barest minimum, the rampant cases of fraud in the system.
The fraudulent practices in the Nigerian banking industry show consistently that outright theft is the commonest, with the highest percentage in terms of value and volume.
Speaking to newsmen at the end of the 32nd edition of Bankers’ Committee meeting held on Thursday in Lagos, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Managing Director of Access Bank, disclosed that fraud was one of the topical issues deliberated upon at the meeting.
Bankers’ Committee is the umbrella body of commercial banks operating in the country and representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Wigwe noted that it was a unanimous decision among members that something drastic needed to be done to stem the tide of fraud that was daily eroding giant strides made by banks in the country.
“The committee deliberated on topical issues that had to do with fraud and one of that is the electronic and card fraud and part of the deliberation was that there is need to create a central depositary which is a database of suspected fraud through the system.
“So once that data base is set up and there is suspected case going through the system we can have ways of ensuring there is strong deterrent for people who are known as fraudsters in the system.
“Hopefully if that is implemented what you will see is that the level of fraud which is coming through SMS and bank cards will decrease significantly.
Very strict measures will be implemented to make sure that people don’t do it and repeat offenders are taken out of the banking system to make sure that we sanitize the system. It is different from credit default”, he assured.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Ecobank Plc., Charles Kie called on the banks to continue to be supportive towards nation’s economy’s revival.
“Overall what the bankers committee also reemphasized was the need for all the banks to continue supporting the economy and ensure that they can effectively help the country get out the recession.
Director Banking Supervision, CBN, Ahmed Abdullahi, reiterated the anticipation of the country of coming out of recession by the second quarter of 2017, due to the expected positive growth in the economy.
Commenting on the several foreign exchange windows, he said: “The fact is that CBN has the arsenal to support the forex market and that is the reason why we have the seven forex windows. Recently, we have the small businesses having access to forex, through their banks so as to improve their businesses.”
He explained further that another newly introduced forex window is the investors and export window, where prices will be determined by the market forces and is a window that would allow investors to come in and trade their forex in the price they consider appropriate.
According to him, “This particular was created to build investors’ confidence, and with this window we are likely to see investors coming in with forex inflows into the economy.”
He also pointed out that the bankers’ committee emphasised the initiative discussed at the last meeting to finance agric and SMEs, using five per cent of the bank profit, so as to fast track the economy coming out of recession, which will be used for equity funding.
Finally, the Acting Director Corporate Communications CBN, Isaac Okoroafor highlighted stability in the Niger Delta, increase and stability in the oil price, improvement in agriculture through Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and adequate supply of Forex among others as pointer that Nigerian economic will come out recession in the third quarter of the year.