Banks, telcos to bar accounts, GSM lines linked to fraud

The Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission is developing a legal framework that will enable banks and telecommunications companies to ban owners of any bank account or the Global System for Mobile Communications line traced to fraud.

Banks, telcos to bar accounts, GSM lines linked to fraud

The development followed the spate of electronic fraud involving (USSD banking) telephone lines and Internet banking transfers.

Officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, who made the disclosure on Friday, said regulators in the banking and telecommunications sectors were set to finalise work on the plan.

According to them, owners of any bank account or GSM line traced to any fraud case, especially electronic fraud, would be banned for life from operating any bank account or GSM in Nigeria.

The officials spoke in Kano during a workshop organised by the NDIC for financial journalists.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Cybercrime: Nature and Trends’’, the Chief Compliance Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Pattison Boleigha, stated that the banking industry recorded 6, 212 fraud cases in the second quarter of 2017.

Quoting the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Industry Fraud Report, Boleigha said within the period, the actual loss count was 3, 211 while the actual loss value was put at N501m.

The attempted fraud value was N791m.

Boleigha, who was represented by Shola Akinnukawe, emphasised the need for more synergy among stakeholders in order combat fraud.

Quoting the NIBSS Industry Fraud Report, the Access Bank CCO said, “The Q2 2017 had a fraud volume of 6, 212 which depicts a 17 per cent increase when compared to Q1 2017 and Q2 2016, respectively.

“Out of the 6,212 fraud count for Q2, the industry recorded 3,211 as count for complete or partial loss in volume. This indicates that the industry was able to save about 48 per cent of the attempted fraud volume. Based on the increase in fraud volume and value for Q1 and Q2 in year 2017, there is a need for more synergy among stakeholders.”

The Access Bank official said there was a need for more vigilance among banks in Nigeria, citing the case of how an Asian bank lost about $80m to fraudsters over a weekend.

He said, “With the swift expansion of computer, mobile and Internet technologies, new forms of worldwide crimes known as “Cybercrimes” has evolved in the scene. Over a period of time, the nature and pattern of cyber crime incidents have become more sophisticated and complex. Banks and financial institutions remain the unabated targets of cyber criminals in the last decade. Notably, financial gain is still one of the major motivations behind most cybercriminal activities and there is little chance of this changing in the near future.”

According to Boleigha, Cybercrime is an economic offence committed using the computer and Internet as a medium, source, instrument, target, or place of a crime.

He listed various trends in Cybercrimes as social engineering (phishing, smishing, vishing, DDOS, spam), SIM swap, card/ATM fraud, online/wed fraud, and mobile payment/ USSD fraud.

The banker listed the effects of fraud on banks as financial loss, reputational damage, loss of customer loyalty, fines, and withdrawal of licence.”

Boleigha, however, said Nigerian banks were increasingly being formidable to the activities of fraudsters due to their various layers of internal control system.

The Director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, said the regulator in partnership with the Bankers Committee had established the Nigeria Electronic Bank Forum to ensure that banks keep on collaborating to mitigate fraud.

Punch
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