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Bank customers file N11.7b fraud complaints

Sixty-seven bank customers have filled N111.7billion fraud complaints before the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

The fraudulent activities were perpetrated by bank workers, they alleged, and demanded a refund of their cash and punishment for the offenders.

Chief Executive/Registrar of the CIBN, ‘Seye Awojobi, made this known in a report at the institution’s 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the weekend.

Awojobi said the complaints were sent to the Ethics and Professionalism Division of the institute, which he said would continue to play a pivotal role in the Nigerian banking industry, in line with the mandate of the Bankers’ Committee Sub-Committee on Ethics and  Professionalism.

The mandate, he said, bothered on resolving disputes relating to unethical and unprofessional infractions between the banks and their customers.

“The Ethics & Professionalism Division received a total of 67 petitions/ cases with petitioners’ claims amounting to N11.7 billion. Fifty three cases were fully resolved with the total amount of N1.7 billion refunded to petitioners,” he said.

He added that the 53 resolved cases comprised 32 from 2019; the rest were cases received in the year under review.

A five-year trend of the cases received and resolved by the CIBN Sub-Committee on Ethics showed that in 2016, 136 cases were treated with N27.63 billion fraud cases against banks’ employees.

The figure rose to N30.6 billion in 2017 where 107 cases were treated. It dropped to N8.5 billion in 2018.

The 2019 breaches showed that 62 complaints worth N10.8 billion were registered.

According to the CIBN Registrar, there were also banks/customers-related cases which were brought from the courts to the committee for resolutions.

He said the judiciary system recognised the mediation roles of the institute and had continued to refer cases to it for the expression of an unbiased independent professional opinion to facilitate equitable judgment.

Awojobi said five cases were received from the courts in 2020 while three were concluded and the reports sent to the courts.

He said the CIBN investigative panel had statutory meetings and considered cases against members of the institute who were found culpable of unethical / unprofessional conduct.

“During the period under review, the panel considered 10 of such cases and referred four cases to the disciplinary tribunal. The disciplinary tribunal considered five cases and delivered judgment on four cases which have been approved by the governing council,” he said.

The institute said it had continued to deploy an Industry Professional Conduct and Ethics Certification as approved by the Bankers’ Committee sub-committee on competency and industry standards.

Awojobi said a total of 27, 639 employee of banks completed the ethics certification in 2020.

He said the institute had continued to ensure that new bank officials attested to the code of conduct for the industry.

“A total of 10,592 Code of Conduct Attestations were done by employees of the banks in 2020, while 125,545 employees of banks had attested to the code of conduct in the banking industry as at December 31, 2020,” he said.

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