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Reps Seek Stiffer Punishment for Banks over Illegal Charges

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House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency on Tuesday opted for stiffer penalties of millions of Naira as fine for commercial banks which engage in an illegal deduction of spurious charges on customers’ accounts domiciled in such banks.

 

The Committee took this position a 2-day public hearing it organised at the National Assembly on proposed amendments to the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act BOFIA 2017 where the lawmakers and stakeholders in the banking sector brainstormed on the way forward for the sector.

 

Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House, who declared the hearing open noted that bank customers had not stopped complaining of spurious charges on their accounts.

 

Dogara who was represented by Chukwuka Onyema, House Deputy Minority Leader, assured that the 8th Assembly was ready to legislate on the laws that would restore sanity into our banking system in the country

 

Jones Onyereri, chairman of the House Committee, said that increase in penalties to the bank operators would streamline the operations of such banks to conform to international best practices.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Cooperation  (NDIC) who made representations at the hearing said that the proposed amendments would help to eliminate sharp practices by commercial banks.

 

Mr Johnson Akinmwumi, CBN’s Director of Legal Services, who represented Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, and Benema Taribo, his counterpart in the NDIC, said that the proposed amendments to the BOFIA Act would ensure that bankers adhere to international best practices.

 

Akinwumi particularly lauded the proposed amendments to sections 3,4 and 5 of the BOFIA Act 2017 the best initiatives to reposition the banking sector.

 

Some of the  penalties in the 70 proposed amendments to the BOFIA Act 2017 include:

(a) A fine of N20 million on banks that fail to comply with the conditions of the licence.

(b) A fine of N20 million on any director that fails to declare any property he/she owns that runs contrary to the Act.

(c) A fine of N10 million against a director or manager that fails to keep a book of account.

(d) A fine of N2 million on banks that fail to publish its annual report of its general meeting in two reputable national dailies among others

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E-Financial

Regulators Mull Clampdown on Accounts, GSM Phones Used for Fraud

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may soon introduce a scheme that will enable banks and telecommunications companies to ban owners of any bank account or the Global System for Mobile Communications line traced to fraud.

 

The CBN, NCC is reportedly working with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) following the spate of electronic fraud involving (USSD banking) telephone lines and Internet banking transfers.

 

When introduced, owners of any bank account or GSM line traced to any fraud case, especially electronic fraud, would be banned for life from operating any bank account or GSM in Nigeria.

The pervasive electronic banking fraud in the banking sector has left customers, banks and regulators waxing worriedly.

 

Some experts claimed that the most significant risks to banks are self-serving or criminal acts carried out by some insiders.

 

According to them, when these insiders use their technical knowledge to alter or disable security controls, it can be even more difficult to detect abuse.

 

But it becomes more dangerous when insiders conspire with criminals outside, showing that depositors money in the banks are not safe.

 

For instance, fraudsters now inundate banks’ customers with SMSes to authenticate accounts with banks.

 

The preciseness of the messages with accompanying data show they could only have gotten the details from insiders in the banks.

Elsewhere, cyber security experts have also  berated telecommunications operators over the prevalence of SIM swap fraud in the country, arguing that such fraud could be possible with an insider in the network operator of the subscriber that is targeted.

 

SIM swapping is a sophisticated form of fraud and falls under social engineering. Fraudsters will distribute phishing emails, trying to ascertain as much personal information from victims as possible.

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E-Financial

FCMB Promotes Entrepreneurship Among Youths

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First City Monument Bank, FCMB, has sponsored capacity building programme for almost 1,000 members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

Tagged: ’Youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme’, it was in partnership with Activate Success Foundation.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Olu Akanmu, Executive Director, Retail Banking at FCMB,  said: “FCMB Flexx account empowers Nigerian youths with the entrepreneurial and employability skills they need. Many youths set up their own businesses from their campuses.

FCMB will be there with them to provide the necessary entrepreneurial and business skills they need to make great successes out of their businesses.

FCMB will also provide great support for the youth businesses and work with them to nurture and grow the youth entrepreneurial ventures.”

Also speaking, Founder Activate Success, Love Idoko said: ‘’I have a penchant for motivating people. There are business-minded youths out there that are just looking for mentorship or business ideas and funds to start their businesses.”

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Global Heists on ATM Machines Imminent- FBI

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America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned banks in Nigeria and others across the globe that criminals are gearing up to execute a global bank heist in the coming days.

 

In a recent confidential alert FBI told international banks that criminals are plotting a concerted global malware attack on cash machines in the next few days.

 

The FBI issued a warning about a highly choreographed fraud scheme known as an ATM “jackpotting”, or ATM cash-out,” in which crooks hack a bank or payment card processor and use cloned cards at cash machines around the world to take out millions in just a few minutes.

 

The alert said the agency had procured information indicating an attack was imminent and that it was likely an “unlimited operation,” which uses malware to exploit network access and get customers’ card information at a large scale.

Once the criminals get the card data, they create fraudulent copies using reusable magnetic strip cards (like gift cards) and hit the ATMs.

 

“Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities,” reads the confidential alert, which was sent to banks last Friday.

 

“The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future.”

 

The alert urges banks to review their security systems and use two-factor authentication with a physical or digital token.

 

Other tips include monitoring and limiting administrator and business accounts with the authority to modify typical fraud controls like maximum withdrawal amounts and number of daily ATM transactions.

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