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Reps Mull N20m Per Day Fine on Banks for Insider Abuse

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Jones Onyereri, chairman of the house of representatives’ committee on banking and currency, has said that banks may pay as high as N20 million per day as fine for infractions like insider abuse.

 

Insider abuse includes the broader range of actions where an insider takes action or fails to take action; where the bank is harmed, takes on additional risk, or loses an opportunity; and where the insider or a related party somehow benefits because of his position.

 

Onyereri told the Cable, on the sidelines of the ongoing Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, that the current volume of non-performing loans (NPLs) is “a worse grave situation”.

 

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently said that insider abuse in banks is a major cause of fraud in the banking industry.

 

Also in its recently released World Economic Outlook, the IMF expressed concerns about deteriorating loan quality in Nigeria saying it could affect the “the ability of the banking sector to support growth in these countries and raise the risk of costly recapitalization.”

 

“That’s why the government introduced AMCON. I think that we are in a worse grave situation, that’s the honest truth because the non-performing loan is far beyond the usual industry threshold and for me it is embarrassing,” the lawmaker said.

“That’s why we have touted the idea that we won’t allow AMCON too. If you look at what we are doing especially in the house of representatives, we are mending the BOFIA act to curb as much is within reasonable limits the whole idea of non-performing loans. The core of non-performing loans is insider abuse.

 

“They give themselves loans far in excess of the accepted value. What we have at present in the BOFIA is a situation where if there is any infraction, they pay as little as N100,000 or N1000 and any bank can afford that if they have to pay N1000; it means nothing to them.

 

“Now we have increased it to the extent that thinking about committing such infractions will be scary to anybody that intends to do so. If you know that you need to pay as much as N20 million a day for every day that you continue to have that infraction, you won’t dare do any of those things.”

 

Onyereri said it is “absolute irresponsibility to have a banking supervision department” and still have a huge volume of NPLs.

 

“The second one which must be sounded very loud and clear is that it is absolute irresponsibility to have a banking supervision department and you still have huge volumes of non-performing loans because every day you are supposed to have on the site and offsite inspection of the bank books so why are they not doing that?

 

“You will see it clearly that this loan is not backed by any collateral or didn’t follow due process so why would you approve it? And even if you do because along the line businesses can get bad, but if you monitor adequately, you’ll be able to curb this before it gets so bad.

 

“That’s why it’s also good for us to strengthen NDIC so that a joint supervision with the CBN will guarantee that we reduce this non-performing loans.”

 

The lawmaker said the report will be released soon and the amendment will be signed into law.

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E-Financial

Bankers, Criminals Collaborate to Clone ATM Cards- Police

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Dan Okoro, commissioner of Police, Anti-Fraud Unit, Federal Criminal Investigation Intelligence Department (FCIID) Ikoyi- Lagos, has raised alarm over many cloned certificates and ATM cards in circulation.

 

Okoro raised the alarm while briefing journalists in Lagos on the discovery of some cloned certificates by a syndicate, which specialised in printing fake documents of banks, government and corporate organisations.

 

He said that the syndicate had been using the cloned documents to defraud banks, government, corporate organisations and individuals, stressing that some bank officials were collaborating with the suspects for the crime.

 

Among documents cloned by the syndicate included CBN, presidential clearance certificates, IMF and court documents.

 

“I advise members of the public against cloned certificates, ATM card and other important documents currently in circulation. I want members of the public to keep their pin numbers, passwords and ATM safe.

 

“We have some documents recovered from one suspect arrested. We are investigating the documents and some bank staffers allegedly collaborating the syndicate.

 

“It is only the bankers that have details of every deposit in the bank. Our investigation revealed that some bankers give information to the syndicate on how much customers have in every account.

“The syndicate cloned documents and transferred such money to another account, particularly, accounts with ATM cards are their easiest target.

 

“Many crimes are going on in different banks, unfortunately, the bank management will not allow the public to know about it because they want to keep their customers trust,” he said.

 

Okoro said the unit was able to detect some of the documents through the assistance of a foreign cyber security firm based in Lagos using forensic analysis equipment to unravel the identities of the syndicate members.

 

He noted that cyber crime was a global challenge, stressing that the unit was synergising with the foreign firm for capacity building for officers and men in the unit.

 

The commissioner said the suspect arrested was currently in the hospital after he collapsed during search of his house and many incriminating materials, including hard drugs were discovered.

 

“The suspect is a web site designer. He designed many of the cloned documents. We are on the trail of other members of the syndicate,” Mr Okoro said.

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NSE Wins Best Use of Technology for Efficiency Award

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has announced that it received the 2018 Best Use of Technology for Efficiency Award from Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards 2018 (NTITA).

The NTITA is the most celebrated industry awards for the Technology and Telecom industries attracting top decision makers in the sectors. The annual event is held to showcase excellence and celebrate the continued growth of Nigeria’s Information, Communication and Technology industry with a focus on the exceptional and innovative performance within the industry.

The award was presented by Mr Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) to the Chief Executive Officer of The Exchange, represented by Mr Olumide Orojimi, Head, Corporate Communications, NSE at ​NTITA  Award ceremony.

According to Mr Akin Naphtal, Chairman, Organising Committee of the awards ceremony, stated that the award is in recognition of NSE’s outstanding service, innovation and tireless efforts in the industry.

“We are proud to promote success stories, technology advancement and disruption in one of the most dynamic business sectors in Nigeria. Not only do we look at businesses, but also those who have made a genuine impact on the market from within these companies”.

Commenting on the award, Mr Bola Adeeko, Head, Shared Services Division, NSE, stated that, “we are very honoured to receive this award.

This achievement is a testament to the efficiency of our service offering which is underpinned by cutting edge technology. This award will spur us to continue to provide investors and businesses with a reliable, efficient and adaptable exchange hub in Africa, to save and to access capital”.

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Senate Orders Suspension of ATM Fee, Summons Emefiele

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been told to direct all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) operating in the country to suspend the monthly N50 they charge their customers for the maintenance of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards.

 

This was the resolution of the Senate on Wednesday after a lawmaker in the red chamber moved a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers’ accounts.

 

The Senate also directed its Committee on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of Automated Teller Machine card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices.

The Senate decision was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who expressed dissatisfaction with excessive charges by Nigerian Banks.

 

Ashafa lamented that most banks have deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal, adding this is deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine.

 

According to him: “ost banks deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal at the ATM.

 

“This is a deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine, which are ordinarily manufactured to dispense as much as N40,000 per transaction, in order to attract more bank charges from customers, who are forced to carry out more transactions due to the manipulated machines.”

 

Other Senator who spoke like Emmanuel Bwacha and Adeola Olamilekan kicked against excessive charges by Nigerian banks on Customers account with particular focus on the ATM.

 

The Senate also Mandated the committee on Banking to invite the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to appear before the committee in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of banking institutions against ordinary customers to the banks.

 

In addition, the lawmakers Urged the Customer Protection Council to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.

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