Access Bank PLC in recent time has been dangling with fraudulent transfer and withdrawers which has cost the bank to lose a whopping some of ₦122 million in 2019.
In the bank’s financial statement for 2019, the reports revealed cases of cash theft/suppression and fraudulent transfer/withdrawals which bruised the profitable year for Access Bank.
Brandnewsday gathered that Access Bank financial statement for 2019 showed the alarming rate at which fraudulent activities marred the bank; alongside its reported ₦97.5 billion profit after tax for the year.
Meanwhile, the profits recorded came at the ends of a successful merger between the bank and Diamond bank.
However, cases of fraud and forgeries have become a recurring problem in the Nigerian Financial Institutions.
Fraudulent transfers and withdrawals occurred 38 times in the year 2019 and resulted in the loss of ₦122,120,354 naira which accounted for 36.43% of the total loss for Access Bank. Cash theft and suppression occurred 73 times and resulted in the loss of ₦100,443,185 which accounted for 29.96% of the total loss.
Surprisingly, ATM/electronic fraud occurred 5,715 times but could not result in any loss for the bank. This is in stark contrast with the situation in the 2018 reports. In 2018, ATM/electronic fraud occurred 4,108 times and resulted in the loss of ₦385,758,558 and this amounted to 80.77% of the total loss for the bank in the year.
Meanwhile, cash theft/suppression had, in 2018, occurred 15 times and resulted in the loss of ₦13,123,214 which constituted 2.75% of the total loss. Fraudulent transfers and withdrawals had occurred 20 times and led to the loss of ₦20,024,919 which amounted to 4.19% of the total loss for the bank in 2018.
In a similar reference, it is worth noting that of the 2,206 fraud cases recorded in 2017, 98% was related to cards/E-Channels/USSD frauds which accounted for ₦86.94 million. The bank, in 2017, also recorded 3 cases of successful robbery incidents which led to a loss of ₦11.19 million.
Interestingly, the bank had become alarmed to a recurring incident of fraud in 2017 and had published some measures they had put in place to checkmates the monstrous trends. Among which includes:
- More focus on cybercrime intelligence and prevention
- Proactive monitoring by Anti- Fraud Unit
- Zero tolerance for staff fraud
- Dismissal and prosecution of any staff involved in fraud
- Training and awareness of fraud risk issues
- Customer awareness through emails, SMS and ATMs
- Background checks on staff
- Collaboration with other industry operators to frustrate fraud attempts
In fairness to the bank, the incident of ATM/Electronic fraud has been tackled with tremendous results but cases of fraudulent transfer/withdrawals, cash theft/suppression and cyber attack are on the rise resulting in huge losses for the bank.
Who is Involved in the Access Bank Fraud?
Sadly, these fraudulent acts are facilitated mostly by the staffers of the bank themselves as the majority of the frauds would not be successful without the support of internal collaborators.
We can only hope the ugly trend is arrested before it gets out of hand. We also hope that the reiterated commitment of Access Bank to whistleblowing is upheld. Banks have to be up and doing in their responsibilities to their customers and the societies at large.