Friday, 28 April 2017

Bankers’ Committee gets tough with e-fraudsters


BANKERS yesterday warned e-fraudsters to behave or be taken off the banking system.

Speaking for the Bankers’ Committee, Access Bank Managing Director Herbert Wigwe said banks were working out modalities that would enable them establish a central database to identify and punish e-fraud perpetrators.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown e-fraud has been on the rise. Although e-fraud rate in terms of value dropped by 63 per cent in nearly two years, after the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and improved collaboration among banks via the fraud desks, the total fraud volume rose significantly by 683 per cent within the period.

Also, Nigeria experienced nearly 3,500 cyber-attacks with 70 per cent success rate and loss of $450 million within the last two years, mainly through cross channel fraud, data theft, e-mail spooling, phishing, shoulder surfing and underground websites.

“There is need for central database for suspected fraudsters in the system. It will ensure strict deterrent for fraudsters that send unsolicited SMS. We are taking very strict measures against e-fraud. Repeat offenders will be taken out of the banking system,” Wigwe said.

CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Ahmed Abdullahi, said the apex bank is moving towards rate convergence in the foreign exchange market. He said the economy would soon be out of recession, and that the apex bank will sustain its interventions in the foreign exchange market.

Abdullahi said both the SMEs Forex Window and the Investor/Exporter Forex Window were geared towards ensuring that more liquidity in the forex market to stablise the local currency.

“In the investor/exporter window, prices will be determined by market forces. It will allow investors to come in and trade at their own prices. We want to boost confidence in the market and allow more inflow of forex,” he said.

The CBN director also said that banks would henceforth commit five per cent of their profit after tax to small and medium enterprises and agric funding.

Also speaking at the committee meeting, CBN spokesman Isaac Okorafor said the apex bank had eliminated “frivolous demand” for foreign currency by introducing a multiple exchange rate system. Besides, it has been intervening on the spot and forward markets to boost liquidity.

Okorafor said the multiple exchange rates was aimed at improving dollar supply while allowing investors to trade their own dollars at a more market-determined rate.

The naira traded at N305.85 to the dollar on the official interbank market yesterday and 390 on the black market. It was quoted at N379.89 on investors’ window. The CBN has been intervening aggressively on the spot and forward markets to prop up the naira. The CBN yesterday offered $100 million to authorised dealers to meet the requests of wholesale customers at the forex auction in the interbank wholesale window.

Okorafor said no intervention was made in the retail window in yesterday’s auction. He, however, disclosed that the bank continued its weekly sale of forex to the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment to meet the needs of low-end users.

According to him, the CBN observed that many dealers were adhering to the forex guidelines. Nevertheless, he said the CBN will continue to monitor the activities of authorised dealers to ensure that no outfit or individual circumvents the laid down forex rules.

While urging all concerned to put the Nigerian economy first, he reiterated that the CBN was determined to guarantee the international value of the naira.

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