THE IMPACT OF BANK FRAUD AND DISTRESS ON BANKING HABIT IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF FIRST BANK, GTB, UBA, UNION BANK AND ZENITH BANK)

ABSTRACT

The problem of automated teller machine (ATM) fraud is global in nature and its consequences on bank patronage should be of concern to the stakeholders in banks. This paper investigates the dimensions of ATM fraud in Nigeria and proffer solutions that will mitigate the ATM fraud in Nigeria banking system. The paper employs both primary and secondary data to investigate the ATM frauds in Nigeria banks. The chi-square statistical technique was used to analyze the data and test the hypothesis raised. The paper concludes that both bank customers and bankers have a strong role to play in stopping the perpetrators of ATM frauds in the banks.

Card jamming, shoulder surfing and stolen ATM cards constitutes 65.2% ATM frauds in Nigeria. This fraud is usually perpetrated by the lower cadre. It involves theft, misappropriation or embezzlement of company’s fund and other assess for their own selfish interest.

Fraud is perhaps the most fatal of all the risk confronting banks. The enormity of bank frauds in Nigeria can be inferred from its value, volume and actual loss. A good numbers of bank frauds never get reported to the appropriate authorities rather they are suppressed because of the personalities involved or because of concern over the negative image effect that the disclosure may cause if information may lose confidence in the banks and this could cause a major setback in the growth of the bank in particular.

Fraud leads to loss of money, which belongs either to the banks or customers. Such losses may be absorbed by the profits for the affected trading and this consequently reduces the amount of profits which would have been available for distribution to shareholders. Losses of fraud which are absorbed to equity capital of the banks impairs that bank financial health and constraints its ability to extend loans and advances for profitable operations. In existence case rampant and large incidents of fraud could lead to a bank failure. Fraud can increase the operating cost of installing the necessary machinery for its prevention, detection, valuable time to safeguarding it assets from fraudulent men distract management. Overall the unproductive diversions of resources always reduce outputs and profits which in turn could retard the growth of the bank.

It automatically leads to loss of confidence in the bank by customers and potential customers of the bank and those seriously discourage banking habits in Nigeria.

There had been several incidents of banks going distressed due to manipulative and fraudulent activities of management and staff of the bank. When this happens innocent depositors lose their hard earned savings coupled with ineffective regulatory policies of the central bank prior to the recapitalization of the Charles Soludo administration .It also lead to a diminishing effect on the asset quality of banks. The problem is more dangerous when compounded by insiders’ loan abuses.

Indeed the first generation banks by NDIC was largely a consequences of fraud perpetrated through insiders loan abuses. If this problem is not adequately handled it could lead to distress and bank failures.

                                                                  

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