Eight banks lose naira 1.9 billion to fraud in one year
Eight depository banks in Nigeria lost a total of 1.9 billion naira as a result of fraudulent incidents last year, data gathered from their annual reports showed.
These are Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank, Wema Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Polaris Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc.
Polaris and Zenith suffered the largest losses due to fraud during the review period, as they lost respectively 938.4 million naira and 360 million naira.
According to its annual report, Polaris recorded a total of 134 fraud cases in 2020 which include seven categories of fraud, namely ATM fraud (43 cases), Internet banking fraud (three cases), mobile fraud ( 46), identity theft fraud (three cases), check theft (one case), outright theft (25 cases) and general fraud incidents (113).
The report also found that ATM, internet banking, mobile phone and identity theft fraud cases cost the bank 830.1 million naira, 37.7 million naira, 16, respectively. 2 million naira and 989,700 naira.
He said that check theft resulted in loss of N1m, while outright thefts and general fraud incidents resulted in losses of N21.8m and N30.4m respectively.
Zenith’s fraud losses increased by N 92 million, from N 268 million recorded in 2019 to N 360 million in 2020.
The number of fraud cases recorded by GTB increased from 15,461 in 2019 to 17,310 last year, while the cost of fraud cases rose to N 174.4 million against N 107.4 million recorded in 2019.
Access Bank lost a total of 138.1 million Naira in 2020, 197.1 million Naira less than it incurred the previous year. However, the bank’s fraud incidents fell from 5,836 cases in 2019 to 11,784 last year.
Sterling, Wema and Fidelity recorded fraud losses of 132.23 MN, 105.4 MN and 22.2 MN, respectively.
Further analysis of the reports revealed that Sterling Bank’s total fraud losses fell from N109.5million in 2019 to N132.23, while Fidelity Bank losses fell by N315.3 million N during the period under review.
Wema recorded 1,201 cases of fraud, which resulted in a loss of 105.4 million naira, including internet fraud (93.9 million naira) and operational and other fraud (11.4 million naira).
Union Bank lost 1.5 million naira to fraud in 2020, which is 400,000 naira less than it recorded the year before.
The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc published in February 2021 the second edition of its Nigerian Financial Services Fraud report, which revealed that in the first nine months of 2020, financial institutions had lost 5 billion naira. because of fraudulent activity.
The NIBSS said that in Nigeria’s banking sector, 203.4 million naira were lost in 984 fraud attempts, while 3,163 attempts that could have resulted in a loss of 380.2 million naira were rejected.
According to the report, there is a need for financial institutions to provide increased artificial protection for clients’ investments.
Experts, in separate interviews with our correspondent, have advised banks to adopt sophisticated cybersecurity measures to mitigate current cyberthreats and step up efforts to educate customers on how to avoid falling prey to them. fraudulent actors.
An ICT expert and senior partner at e86 Limited, OluGbenga Odeyemi, said: “I think there is a gap in educating clients on what to do and what not to do. Times are tough and criminals are inventing new ways to move forward.
“So the banks, especially the central bank, need to be one step ahead of those in financial crimes. They should think ahead and come up with some measures that would mitigate cyber fraud and attacks, and make sure their customers are well educated on how not to fall prey. ”
He also highlighted the need for banks to hire skilled cybersecurity staff to monitor their ICT space.
A financial expert and lecturer at Pan-Atlantic University, Dr Olalekan Aworinde, urged banks to increase their investments in cybersecurity and strengthen their internal controls to fight fraud in the financial sector.
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