EFCC urges transparency in banking sector

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has implored the bank auditors to take issues of transparency in banking operations seriously.

He said the warning is important because as from September 1, this year the  Commission will hold banks liable where there are established cases of institutional complicity in fraud in the sector.

Bawa dropped the hint on Tuesday  August 24, 2021 in Abuja when members of  Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN),led by the Chairman, Yinka Tiamiyu paid him a courtesy visit at the Commission`s headquarters, Abuja.

He affirmed the Commission’s willingness to partner with the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria in tackling financial crimes and related challenges in the banking sector. 

“EFCC welcomes your suggestion of robust partnership. We cannot do this job alone. We need information, and for all Nigerians to be on board, to rid our country of corruption,” he said .

Bawa said that “starting from September 1, 2021 it will no longer be business as usual as the Commission will hold banks liable where there are established cases of institutional complicity in fraud in the sector.”

“I will like to urge you to know your customers, know the kind of businesses they do before opening an account for them because some customers will open an account within a space of two months a huge sum of money is found in the account, so there is need for you to try and query these information including their linked accounts,” Bawa said.

Tiamiyu in his remarks, said they were in the Commission to seek improved partnership between banks and the EFCC in tacking economic and financial crimes. 

He reiterated the commitment of banks as lead actors in the nation’s financial system to sanitizing the system, noting that it was not in the interest of the organizations to incubate or suppress financial malfeasance.

Amplifying this point, Uduak Udoh, Vice Chairman of the Association said, “Some customers are conniving with bank staff to loot funds. We want you to look into that area, not only the banks as we are ready to give you all the cooperation you need; we want you to trust bank auditors with information sharing because we cannot support fraudulent staff as they are a threat to the organization.”

They used the opportunity of the visit to highlight issues of concern to them and their organizations, including fast-tracking the consideration of petitions from banks by the EFCC.