The 2019 Banking Industry Fraud Report indicates that the sector recorded a total of 2,295 fraud cases in 2019. This represents a 5.4% marginal increase compared to 2,175 fraud cases in 2018. A total of 83 financial institutions reported fraud cases in 2019 as compared to 72 in 2018. Rural and Community banks reported 55% of total fraud cases- the highest among banking institutions.
The BoG noted with worry, the alarming rate of involvement of bank staff in the perpetration of fraud in the sector. It was revealed that loss incurred from cybercrime in 2019 increased by 193% compared to 2018. Whiles loss incurred from cheque fraud mainly arising from cheque cloning increased by 219% in 2019.
Suppression of cash and deposits accounted for 77% of the total number of fraud cases. The BoG identified cyber fraud, cheque fraud, suppression of cash/deposits, manipulation and forgery of documents as High-Risk Fraud.
According to the report, the marginal increase in the number of fraud cases can be attributed to the improved efforts by the Financial Stability Department to identify, monitor and ensure compliance with reporting fraud cases in the industry. The report further linked the increment in fraud cases to the emergence of advanced technology adopted by financial institutions. This according to the BoG has made the sector more vulnerable to risks such as phishing, identity theft, card skimming, vishing and email fraud.
In 2019, the banking industry reported a total fraud value of approximately GHC 115.52 million to the BoG. Out of the total value, approximately GHC 33.44 million representing 28.96% was reported as losses incurred. Whiles approximately GHC 82.06 million (71.04%) was recovered.
The Banking Industry Fraud Report encouraged banks to vet contract and temporary staff in order to curtail the employment of fraudsters. The report also advocated for better remuneration for permanent and contract employees of the various banks.
The BoG also advised Telecommunication companies to enhance their cybersecurity infrastructures to prevent unauthorised access in line with the regulator’s requirement.
Excerpts of report here.