The anti-corruption boss told some bankers how their colleagues aide corruption.
In a bid to shield persons suspected of financial crimes from investigation, Nigerian banks deliberately provide inadequate information and in some cases completely hide information from anti-corruption officials, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said
The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, said this during a courtesy visit by some bankers on Monday. The bankers, members of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, led by its president and chairman of council, Segun Aina, visited Mr. Lamorde in his Abuja office.
“If you send letter to the bank to avail you the details of such account, the reply you will get is that such account does not exist,” Mr. Lamorde said. “If you insist, then you will be told that such records are not on the front desk; that it is only the managing director or the deputy managing director that manages the account, this is not a healthy banking development.”
Other ways by which banks aid corruption, according to the anti-corruption chief, include non-compliance with Know-Your-Customer, KYC, principle; doctoring or non disclosure of true position of statement of accounts of suspicious account holders; and allowing the secrecy surrounding private banking.
Mr. Lamorde, who did not mention the banks involved in the act, accused the culpable banks of engaging in unethical practices that undermine both the economy and the Commission’s investigation activities. He described as unfortunate, a situation where banks fail to disclose the identities of some people under investigation by the Commission.
The EFCC boss told the visiting bankers that his commission appreciates the need for the banks to protect their customers, but warned that such should not be at the detriment of the society.
“We want our society to be better. Nobody would want to be treated in an unfair manner outside the shores of this country just because he/she is carrying a green passport,” he said.
The anti-graft boss however commended the leadership of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria for their role in helping to sanitize the banking sector, culminating in appreciable increase in professionalism among its members. He however urged them not to rest on their oars.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Aina commended the EFCC chairman for the professional manner the commission, under his leadership, handles cases. He said the institute believes that the commission can do better.
The banking chief said the visit was aimed at discussing areas of collaboration with the EFCC, adding that the commission’s training Institute, the EFCC Academy, will provide a veritable platform for the exchange of knowledge between the CIBN and the EFCC.
“We can train staff of the EFCC to be acquainted with new trends of banking and to better understand the workings of the banks which will help in the course of investigation of bank fraud”.
The CIBN president also urged the EFCC to take a strong look at the enforcement of the Dishonour Cheque Offences Act. He said in spite of the existence of a law against the issuance of dud cheques, people still indulge in the unhealthy practice and nothing is done about it.
On the issue of the secrecy associated with private banking, Mr. Aina said private banking is an arrangement where the banks give special services to some customers who are not expected to join the queue in the banking hall. He however stated that such account should not be shrouded in secrecy.