The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, has called for a harmonised fraud-fighting approach among financial institutions in the country.
Wigwe, also noted that with this, stakeholders could collaborate and find urgent solutions to the industry’s fraud challenges.
The Access Bank boss, who said this at the “2015 Access Bank Fraud Awareness Workshop,” held in Lagos, also pointed out that currently, the industry, invests over 100 million dollars yearly in the fight against fraud. This amount included deployment of a robust technology infrastructure designed to detect fraudulent activity.
He, however, stressed that globally; the impact of financial fraud is massive, noting that with billions of dollars in losses impacting tens of millions of victims, fraud remains a major global problem.
“Although we have joined the global Anti-Fraud body the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, there is much work to be done to ensure Nigeria becomes an anti-fraud culture. At Access Bank, anti-fraud initiatives are a priority. Not only is security one of the three pillars of how we operate, fraud has become a fundamental fact of life not only for the bank but for every segment of the global business community.
“In Nigeria there was a record of 1,461 fraud cases last year. These represented an attempted value of N7.8 billion and an actual loss of N6.216 billion. But this figure does not tell the total story. We must also include the cost of investigations, sanctions and countless other costs associated with cases of fraud,” Wigwe added.
He pointed out although that the ever-increasing use of Internet banking, ATMs and other electronic platforms had made banking more enjoyable and convenient for all, the resulting fraud that preys on these electronic platforms was staggering. While noting that with initiatives such as the BVN registration to tackle fraud, there was need for banks to search for more innovative solutions.
On his part, the Director, Banking and Payment System, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, said the gathering was to sends a message to fraudsters that the their activities would not be tolerated anywhere within the industry.
The Director, Asset & Financial Services, Nigeria Drug Laws Enforcement Agencies (NDLEA), Mrs. Egbase Victoria, commended Access Bank for the awareness and training on anti-fraud initiatives. She also urged the central bank to recommend same to other banks.