The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) said the banking industry recorded a decline in the rate of successful fraud incidences and in the extent of losses in 2016 compared to 2015.
Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, the NDIC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, said this in a statement by the Head of Communication and Public Affairs of the Corporation, Mr Hadi Birchi on Thursday in Abuja.
Ibrahim said this while delivering a lecture on “the Role of NDIC in Mitigating Corruption in the Nigerian Banks’’ at the meeting of the Abuja Chapter of the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI).
Ibrahim was represented by the Deputy Director in Research, Policy and International Relations Department, Mr. Hashim Ahmad.
He said,“ the reported cases of frauds, forgeries and outright theft involving bank staff recorded a huge decline of 48.12 per cent from N18.02 billion in 2015 to N8.68 billion in 2016.
“The actual losses to the nation’s banking industry dropped by 24.29 per cent from N3.17 billion in 2015 to N2.40 billion in 2016.
“Also, the level of attempted cases of frauds and forgeries declined by N0.329 billion or 11.94 per cent from N2.756 billion in March 2017 to N2.427 billion in June 2017.
Ibrahim said that the reported cases of fraud and forgeries rose by 36.42 per cent from 12,279 cases in 2015 to 16,751 cases in 2016.
He said that the reduction in the rate of successful fraud incidences and actual losses was an indication of improved regulatory/supervisory oversight and increased vigilance by banks.
He said the reductions were also as a result of the deployment of improved security architecture in the banking industry.
He attributed the factors breeding corruption in Nigerian banks to poor corporate governance, infractions in foreign exchange operations, cumbersome legal process and lack of effective sanctions of offenders, among others.
The NDIC boss reiterated that the NDIC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would continuously supervise the banks to ensure their strict adherence to sound corporate governance practices.
He added that issues bordering on unethical financial practices and the resolution of conflicts between customers and their banks were being addressed by the Bankers Committee.
Ibrahim noted the rising trend in the level of banks’ Non-Performing Loans (NPLs).
He stated that the NDIC had recommended the prohibition of Directors of licensed banks, including microfinance banks (MFBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs) from obtaining credit facilities from their respective banks.
He said the NDIC was collaborating with stakeholders such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) and the Financial Malpractices Investigation Unit (FMIU) to conduct investigations into banking malpractices.
He said that the NDIC provided capacity building programmes for the agencies in addition to seconding some NDIC Staff to the institutions to assist them in investigating financial crimes.
He called for continued cooperation and collaboration between regulatory/supervisory authorities, the banks, the general public and the government in the fight against corruption in the banking industry.