Bank customers berate authorities, want urgent actions

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Some bank customers of various banks in the country have lamented the increasing spate of illegal withdrawals from their accounts.Some of the customers who were victims of the act said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.They described the act as fraudulent which the authorities must urgently address.They also alleged that most illegal deductions in banks were being done in connivance with bank staff.Miss Helen Isiguzu, a customer with one of the new generation banks said that fraud was being perpetrated in almost all the banks unlike before, adding that it was more rampant in some banks.“What is happening in banks these days is discouraging me from depositing my money with them.“No wonder the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said there is so much money in the hands of Nigerians outside the banks.“People are beginning to lose hope in commercial banks.“Instead of my money to develop wings and disappear from my account just in a day, I rather invest it into real estate business and it will yield greater profits,’’ she said.Mrs Anthonia Ibedalu, another customer with one of the new generation banks, said that some banks in the country were operating below international standard.Ibedalu called on the relevant authorities including the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to step up actions and safe customers from fraudulent activities in some banks.“I travelled to South Africa for a period of three years but I had a dollar account in one of the banks.“When I got back to Nigeria for holidays, I decided to take the money but to my surprise, I was told the money was no longer there.“I enquired to know what happened but was told my account was hacked into. I wondered how an account that no other person had the details could be hacked into.“When I contacted higher authorities in the bank, they investigated and my money was refunded.“They did not tell me the result of their investigation but from their responses, it was an insider thing. I now ask, what if I didn’t know who to contact,’’ she said.Mr Louis Otagoro, a former banker, appealed to the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) to ensure that only trained professionals practice in the industry.“The CIBN should step up actions to ensure that banking profession does not become an all comers affair,’’ he said.Meanwhile, the President of CIBN, Dr Ken Opara, had said that the council was resolute and committed to the observance and maintenance of ethics and professionalism among practitioners in the banking industry.Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC had also said they were engaging with banks to address consumer related issues.Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had said that most banking fraud handled by the commission showed that bank employees aided the acts.The Head, Cybercrime Section of the Commission, Abbah Sambo, said that the acts were mostly perpetrated by insider Information, Communication Technology employees of banks.He also expressed regret at the increasing rate of cybercrime in spite of best efforts by the commission to tackle it.Sambo observed that in years past, young people involved in cybercrime were not ICT savvy, but today, it is ICT graduates that were champions in perpetrating the crime. (NAN)



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