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Fidelity Bank Has The Highest Number of Fraud Cases in Nigeria



fidelity bank

The recent increase in fraudulent activities within Fidelity Bank PLC has raised serious concerns about the bank’s overall integrity. This has been an ongoing issue for quite some time now. If this problem is not addressed comprehensively and urgently, it has the potential to significantly impact the bank’s long-term financial stability and ultimately disappoint its shareholders.

In the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Financial Stability Report for June 2022, which was published in December 2022, there was a concerning revelation regarding Fidelity Bank. The report highlighted that Fidelity Bank had one of the highest numbers of recorded fraud cases among all the banks. In the first half of 2022 alone, Fidelity Bank reported a staggering 26,877 cases of fraud, and this was in addition to 6,047 Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) being placed on the CBN’s watch list due to suspicious transactions.

This situation undoubtedly places Fidelity Bank at a high level of risk, even without considering any other potential contingencies.

In December 2021, when investigating fraudulent activities associated with Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs), it was found that Fidelity Bank had the highest number of such cases. Specifically, there was a 13.9% increase, bringing the total to 5,347 cases. It’s worth noting that some of these cases involved accounts of deceased account holders.

What’s concerning is that these fraudulent activities were observed not only in Fidelity Bank but also in several other banks. This is despite the fact that Fidelity Bank and 27 other financial institutions were assessed for compliance with the Regulatory Framework for BVN operations and the Seelist for the Nigerian banking industry. This information was gathered from reports obtained by CAPITAL POST on Thursday.

Part of the report read: “2.72 million BVNs were enrolled in the first half of 2022, bringing the total number to 54.65 million. Also, 130.57 million out of 148.46 million active accounts were BVN-linked accounts with Fidelity Bank recorded 26,877 fraud cases.

It is recalled that Fidelity Bank workers in a single swoop, stole customers’ N874 million using 22 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards with the case still pending before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja. The stealing was made possible with other insider conspirators and system compromise within a period of three days before the lid was blown open.

This has been confirmed by Fidelity Bank’s Information System Auditor, Mr Peter Ige who testified as the second prosecuting witness presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to testify against the accused staff members in Court.

He told the judge, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, how the four accused persons hacked the bank’s database and cloned more than 22 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards to steal N874 million, according to a statement by the EFCC, on Wednesday.
The defendants – Omidiji Joseph, Olusegun Babasola, Abisola Ahmed, Uchechukwu Uma and Jude Aphaeus – are being prosecuted by the EFCC on two counts of fraud involving N874 million they allegedly stole from the bank within three days.

EFCC said the money belongs to five corporate customers – American International Insurance Company Limited (AIICO); Interswitch; OVH Energy Marketing Ltd.; Fidelity Bank Sinking Fund Account and FSL Securities Ltd. They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. The anti-graft agency presenting Mr Ige as its second prosecution witness on Wednesday Mr Ige told the court how his department was asked to investigate the “massive fraud” in July 2019.
It’s incumbent upon the Fidelity Bank management to constantly guard against infidelity of its staff in order to save the financial institution of this financial embarrassment, even as the management must accept the fact that fraud cannot be perpetuated without insider conspiracy.

It’s also not enough for the Bankers’ bank to churn out reports as it were, but to take a step further in applying punitive sanction against commercial bank management for inexplicable carelessness or administrative supine attitude that led to colossal fraud.

Source:- ThePressNG