The President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, Alhassan Andani, has assured the general public of safety within the banking sector despite the increase in fraud cases.
This follows new figures released by the Bank of Ghana earlier this year which show that cases of fraud in the banking sector increased to 2,295 in 2020, from 2,175 in 2019.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Mr. Alhassan Andani said that banks were steadily putting in place measures to protect depositor funds and improve their defenses to ensure that they reduce and eliminate breaches in the sector.
“Even if you lose one cedi, it’s a bad phenomenon. But would you have fraud in financial services? Yes, because it’s like honey and ants, they will come for it. There are miscreants in every society not just in Ghana. But we do our best to recruit, screen, train, put in checks and balance and we do all of that to check our people. We also put in place processes to interact with our clients and the outside world.
“Now, we are very digital, so there are a lot of keys trying to open our door. We have given our staff training and given them access so they have a lot of keys to the things that we do, but we have checks and balances and we expect them to use it well. But if you let any of these by, somebody can take it and hack into our system,” he said.
He however says the increase in fraudulent activities in the banking sector is not significant enough to affect public confidence in the sector.
“Global connection for movement of funds is digital and again we have very high level clever people who are able to read this space and break in. But in spite of all of that, we have made significant investment to prevent that kind of event. Wherever there is a break, especially in the operational side, the loss is not big enough. It’s not at that level where you can say that, for example, there is a fraud in Stanbic bank, so you are going to take out your money. I am saying that is very far from that,” he said.
Fraud has become one of the most challenging issues facing the financial sector of most countries globally. These fraudulent transactions have led to financial institutions and depositors losing huge sums of money.
Statistics from the Bank of Ghana in 2018 indicate that fraud cases in the banking industry increased from one thousand and two cases in 2016 to one thousand, four hundred and eighteen cases in 2017.
In total, Ghana lost 30.1 million cedis to bank fraud in 2017 alone.
Also, the latest report released by the Bank of Ghana on cyber fraud indicates that the banking industry, in 2019, reported a total of 2,295 fraud cases as compared to 2,175 fraud cases reported in 2018.
This indicates that the banking sector recorded 120 more cases of cyber fraud in 2019 than 2018.
The report however shows that advanced technology adopted by financial institutions have made the sector more susceptible to various risks related to cyber-crime.
Increase investment in anti-fraud training for financial sector employees – E-Crime Bureau
Already, the Central Bank and individual financial institutions have been charged to channel more resources into the training of staff to help reduce employee involvement in fraud cases in the banking sector.