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Banks Involved In 70% Of Financial Crimes, Says EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says banks were involved in about 70 per cent of financial crimes committed in Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja at the 2023 Annual Retreat and General Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria on Monday in Abuja, EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukayode, said the banking sector was increasingly becoming a cesspool of fraudulent activities and this had been raising considerable challenges and concerns to the commission.

Represented by the agency’s Director of Internal Audit, Idowu  Apejoye, the EFCC chairman said there was a need for concerted effort by relevant authorities and professionals, especially audit executives to prevent and tackle issues of fraudulent practices in the sector.

“Broadly speaking, banking fraud in Nigeria is both inside and outside related. The inside related fraud comprises outright selling of customers’ deposits, authorising loan facilities, forgery and several other kinds of unhealthy and criminal practices,” he said.

 “The outsider related ones include hacking, ATM fraud, conspiracy, among others. And then the absurd one is when both collaborate, that is collaboration among the bankers and the outsider.

“That one is the one that is really absurd because when you do that, that means you are selling out the system. It is estimated that about 70 per cent of financial crimes in Nigeria are traceable to the banking sector, this scenario is disturbing and unacceptable.”

He charged the association to monitor the financial activities of banks, comparing actual and budgeted revenue with expenses, carrying out periodical review, and checks, among others, stressing that to curb the anomalies, ACAEBIN should ensure proper reconciliation of accounts every month under accounting requirements.

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Also speaking, the Chairman, ACAEBIN, Prince Akamadu, said the association would work towards achieving some of the recommendations provided by the EFCC boss.

He said the association was fully committed to fixing the foreign exchange challenges in Nigeria, which was one of the issues that the retreat aimed to achieve.

“That is part of the reason why we are having this retreat, to ask ourselves, to do an introspection and ask ourselves, given our position in the banking industry, or the executives of banks in Nigeria, are we doing enough?

“Have we done enough? What more can we do to help in sanitising the system? Are there things the banks could do to help in sanitising the FX in this country?

“By the end of this retreat, we are expected to come up with a communique and we hope to address some of the issues, one way or the other, that will address the role of banks in FX  challenges in this industry,” he stated.

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