The value of funds lost by commercial banks to fraud last year stood at N2.2 billion, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. It however added that it is a massive drop from N6.6 billion recorded the previous year.
Its Director, Banking and Electronic Payments, ‘Dipo Fatokun, who spoke yesterday said the reduction of fraud losses meant that fraud rate in Nigeria is less than that of Europe as a whole, and indeed that of Portugal which boasts the least fraud rate in Europe.
Speaking at a conference titled: CBN Real Sector Financing: A Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development, in Ibadan, he said the new record of fraud rate was made possible by some policy shifts in the CBN especially the implementation of two factor authentication for internal banking processes which started January last year.
He said the review of operations of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Instant Payment (NIP) System and Other e-Payment Options with Similar Features and establishment of industry fraud desk were responsible for the drop in fraud value.
Fatokun also said the introduction of the Bank Verification (BVN) initiative, deployment of the Central Anti-Fraud Solution and collaboration of the banks’ fraud desk and coordination by NIBSS also cut fraud statistics within the period.
‘’The policies/circulars issued by the CBN most times have direct impacts on the fraud levels in the industry; sometimes we see a direct decline in the fraud rates in the months the CBN circulars were released,’’ he said.
Speaking on agent banking, Fatokun said the CBN Board of Governors will this month meet on the application of telecom companies for Super Agent.
Part of CBN’s guidelines on agent banking stipulates that banks and agents should treat and resolve any customer-related issues in agent banking within 72 hours.
The apex bank also said financial institutions shall be responsible for setting up dispute resolution mechanism for their agents to facilitate resolution of customers’ complaints.
The CBN also pegged the minimum shareholder fund for Super Agents in Agent Banking at N50 million, a guideline released at the weekend stipulated.