Banking sector lost GHȻ30.08 million to fraud

A section of participants at the workshop

A section of participants at the workshop

The banking industry last year lost GHȻ 30.08 million to fraud, an Advisor of Bank of Ghana, Grace Akrofi has disclosed.

She said the total value of reported or attempted fraud amounted to approximately GhȻ190.38 million and GHȻ160million representing 84 percent of the reported fraud was recovered.

Madam Akrofi disclosed this here at a two-day financial crime sensitisation workshop for judges and law enforcement agencies said “Fraud types with the highest occurrence were suppression of cash and deposits.”

She explained that the other types of fraud included card fraud, manipulation of accounts and negotiable instruments, cheque fraud, forgery and alteration of documents.

The objective of the workshop was to sensitise the participants of the current trends of cyber crime and come out with measures to combat the menace.

Madam Akrofi said most of the fraud cases reported last year, involved largely temporal bank staff, stating that while most deposit taking institutions were increasing their staff intake, especially at the entry level, most of them did not have the capacity to adequately vet the character of the new employees.

“A key concern to BoG is the widening gap between date of occurrence and detection.  As we all know, fraud is a criminal offence and any delay in its detection could have a significant impact on the performance of the industry as a whole,” Madam Akrofi said.

She said delay in the investigation of the case and subsequent prosecution of culprits may also have far reaching consequence on the stability of the banking sector.

She called for a collective approach to fraud mitigation to create a near fraud free ecosystem in Ghana.

“To enhance the security of our banking sector and the financial industry as a whole, we will all need to harness the strengths of our individual institutions,” the Advisor said.

On cyber fraud, Madam Akrofi said a study conducted by the African Union in 2016 indicated that Ghana was among the top most attacked countries in Africa.

She said the study disclosed that in 2016 there were 400,000 Melware incidents, 44 million spam incidents, and 280, 000 Bots incidents in Ghanaian institutions.

Consequently, the Advisor said the BoG had instituted a Cyber Security Committee, which had been mandated to implement BoG’s Cyber and Information Security Directive, and the Directive enjoins banks to appoint a Cyber and Information Security Officer who would have direct access to, among others, senior management.

The Head of Financial Stability Department of the BoG, Dr Joseph France said fraud particularly cyber fraud was increasingly becoming a threat to the banking industry.

He said the BoG was working hard to combat fraud and financial crime to protect the banking industry.

 From Kingsley Asare, Big Ada

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