Fraud a threat to banking, says Centenary boss

Wednesday February 29 2012

By Faridah Kulabako

There is growing fear among players in the banking industry about the risks that the advancement and adoption of new technology is posing to the industry.

Mr Fabian Kasi, the Centenary Bank managing director, told Daily Monitor in an interview recently that fraud is emerging as a big challenge for the industry, costing the sector millions of shillings annually.
Although there is no readily available data about the crime in the market, it is estimated that about 7 per cent of an average organisation’s annual revenue is lost to fraud while financial institutions and telecoms in Uganda lose between 15-20 per cent of annual revenue to fraudsters.

For instance in 2009, Barclays Bank lost over Shs3.5 billion to fraud when an employee attached to the Jinja Road Branch allegedly colluded with others and wired the money from one account to their own account.

“Fraud is a big threat for the industry but we can’t fight it alone, there is need for collective effort of all financial institutions, the Central Bank and the public,” Mr Kasi told this newspaper on the sidelines of the opening of the bank’s Kayunga branch recently.

He said although banks have tried to shield themselves against the vice, the public must as well get involved in reporting cases where they suspect fraud.

Many businesses have embraced technology in their operations as they seek to improve efficiency and remain competitive in today’s cutthroat business environment.