15 February 2015, Lagos – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported that the number of cases of fraud and forgeries in banks rose to 5,197, involving N16.82 billion in the first half of 2014. This was higher than the 2,478 cases, involving N22.4 billion in the corresponding period of 2013.
Of this amount, the actual loss incurred by banks was N1.72 billion, compared with N3.82 billion in the corresponding period of 2013.
The apex bank said in its 2014 half year report that the frauds were executed through diverse means, including fraudulent withdrawals from customers’ account, suppression and conversion of customers’ deposit, theft, illegal funds transfer, cheque defalcations, and fraudulent ATM withdrawals.
In most cases, these frauds were perpetrated by outsiders, although there were instances where bank employees were also culpable.
There was a significant decrease in the amount involved and the actual losses to the banking industry, when compared with the corresponding period in the previous year.
According to the CBN, this is the result of increased supervisory oversight, stronger internal control measures adopted by banks, and improved use of technology and a more thorough approach towards hiring employees in highly sensitive areas of banks’ operations.