CBN moves to check fraud in banks

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

15 June 2015, Lagos – In furtherance of its efforts at combating fraud within the banking industry, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all deposit money banks (DMBs), mobile money operators (MMOs), Switches and all payment service providers to establish and maintain a dedicated Fraud Desk in their respective organisations.

The apex regulator said the Fraud Desk shall be appropriately staffed with personnel that have requisite training on emerging fraud trends on various electronic payment channels.

The policy, according to the banking sector regulator, takes effect from July 1, 2015, and failure to comply shall attract appropriate sanctions.

The CBN stated this in a circular titled: “Establishment of Industry Fraud Desks,” addressed to all DMBs, Switches and payment service providers, obtained at the weekend. The circular signed by the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, was dated June 11, 2015.

The desk is expected to provide support to customers on electronic frauds with a minimum of 10 dedicated phone lines, manned and available to customers at all times; make available the option for calls to contact centre, in respect of fraud alerts or complaints, to be redirected to fraud desk;

Block and/or place no debit restrictions on account upon receipt of fraud complaint; and receive customers’ stop-transaction instructions to block their accounts through short codes service provided to customers by the banks.

In addition, the dedicated bank officials are expected to log all customers’ fraud alert and/or complain and escalate in line with internally predefined escalation path; submit reports to the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc on fraud information logged by the fraud desk; honour ‘hold’ instructions from NIBSS with respect to fraud matters and grant NIBSS permissions to view details on logged transactions; and sensitise customers on e-fraud and the Fraud Desk Services.

They are also to manage/resolve all intra-bank fraud issues leveraging an enterprise fraud management system and maintain a mail group mapped to members of the fraud desk.

It circular read: “The CBN in furtherance of its efforts at combating fraud within the banking industry, established the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) to proffer solutions towards addressing frauds arising from the increased adoption of electronic payments.

“Following submissions to the Bank by NeFF and consultations with DMBs and electronic payment service providers, it has become imperative that an effective mechanism for receiving and responding promptly to fraud alerts be set up within the Nigerian banking industry, towards managing and reducing successful electronic payment fraud in the Nigerian banking industry.”

The NIBSS was also mandated to have responsibility as industry coordinator of the fraud desk across all banks, mobile money operators, switches and payments service providers and was expected to among other things, provide electronic platform for fraud desks in banks, MMOs, switches and payment service providers to log frauds; and maintain direct and dedicated phone lines and e-mail contacts to all banks, mobile money operators, switches and payment service providers’ fraud desks for the purpose of exchange of information and coordination of industry response to fraud attempts/incidents.

Other tasks assigned to the NIBSS includes: “To avail DMBs with an enhanced e-fraud portal/instant payment platforms, with capabilities for banks to initiate ‘block’ or ‘hold funds’ electronic messages from a bank’s fraud desk to the other. The NIBSS shall have access to each bank record of fraudulent transactions and provide monthly reports to the CBN.

“Bank shall implement across all electronic channels, an enterprise fraud monitoring system, which ensures behavioural monitoring, patterns and hold/block control on transactions suspected to be fraudulent, etc. Banks may subscribe to NIBSS central anti-fraud solution for this purpose.”
*Obinna Chima – Thisday

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