Nigerian Wema Bank Lost $595,000 To Fraud And Forgery In 2023

Nigerian Wema Bank Lost $595,000 To Fraud And Forgery In 2023
Wema Bank [PHOTO CREDIT: Techeconomy]

Wema Bank Limited is a Nigerian retail bank rated as tier-2 and ranked the second largest retail bank in the country with total customer deposits of ₦1.8 trillion ($1.6 billion). In 2023, the company disclosed a digital income of ₦ 745 million (including electronic products worth ₦ 7.3 billion in earnings) as per their report. And on top of that ALAT of Wema has added over 2.1mn users in 2023.

The bank, in turn, is trying to the case in Q1 2024. In this regard, the bank ensures that the 2024 fiscal year will not be threatened by the crisis that was in the year 2023.

The report of Wema Bank’s 2023 fraud cases comes two weeks after Access Bank, a commercial bank of the same country, has its fraud and forgery accounts stand at N6.15 billion which is higher than the amount reported for the previous year being ₦1.44 billion.

Access Bank noted the following: In authoritative accounts, fraudulent wire, cash, and electronic withdrawals account for more than 80% of the loss; 29% of which has come from the theft of money through electronic fraud devices, cash theft, and USSD.

The banking sector in Nigeria sheds ₦5.79 billion to frauds and forgeries in Q2 2023 alone, which is a major rise when compared to the sum of ₦472.28 million in Q1 2023, according to a report.

Added to this was the report of a 71% rise in the bank’s gross earnings which stood at ₦226 billion in contrast to ₦133 billion posted in 2022. It saw growth in four other revenue streams: interest margin rate, funds management charges, and the FX. It also diversified its loan offerings with this move, and the result was a remarkable increase in the average rate of returns to the customers who received loans from them.

Within the banking family in Nigeria, card fraud is becoming another major drawback. Meanwhile, in Q2 2023, the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) registered 1,994 cases of PaPo fraud, amounting to a total loss of ₦428 million ($474,770).

This notwithstanding the NeFF and AMMBAN joined hands to create a feature that identifies and stops unauthorized transactions that involve fraud at PoS terminals in Nigeria.

In other news, commercial banks across Africa have reported losses due to digital fraud. Tanzania’s central bank reported in March 2024 that digital fraud in Tanzania’s commercial banks increased by 84% in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year. In Kenya, Absa Bank Kenya reported in December 2023 that it had lost KSh 107.7 million ($716,566) to fraud in 2022.

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