The banking sector recorded 5,917 cases of fraud involving the sum of N11.98bn in the first half of this year, statistics obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria have indicated.
The figures are contained in the CBN’s Financial Stability Report. The report stated that the 5,917 cases of fraud represented a decrease by 333 when compared to the 6,250 cases recorded at the end of December 2014.
However, the report stated that the incidence of fraud recorded a decline, while its monetary value rose by N2.98bn from N9bn in December 2014 to N11.98bn in June this year.
It stated, “Key operational risks reported were incidents of fraud and forgeries, disruption of banking activities during the fuel crisis, slow implementation of the unique identifiers’ scheme and insecurity in some parts of the country.
“Cases of fraud and forgeries decreased to 5,917 at end-June 2015 from 6,250 at end-December 2014. However, the amount involved increased to N11.98bn at end-June 2015 from the N9bn recorded in the second half of 2014.”
The CBN report noted that out of the N11.98bn fraud recorded in the banking sector, the actual amount lost was N1.89bn.
It added, “Actual losses from these incidents decreased to N1.89bn at end-June 2015 from N3.04bn in the second half of 2014. Banks experienced operational challenges owing to protracted fuel shortages and epileptic power supply.
“These challenges emphasized the need to fast-track the implementation of the Shared Services Scheme. Meanwhile, prolonged insecurity in the North-East continued to affect the operations of banks in that region.”
The report was silent on the type of banking transactions that resulted into the frauds, but findings by our correspondent showed that over the years, there had been increase in reported Internet fraud.
For instance, the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation had in its 2014 report on the banking sector stated that there were 7,181 reported cases of ATM/card-related frauds, while Internet frauds and fraudulent transfers recorded 1,277 and 1,099 cases, respectively.
Other fraud cases with high frequency are fraudulent conversion of cheques (138 cases), presentation of stolen cheques (59 cases), unauthorised credits (98 cases), presentation of forged cheques (62 cases) and outright theft by bank workers (107 cases).