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EFCC Tells Banks To Probe Customers’ Source Of Income Before Opening Accounts

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Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa, has asked on banks to probe potential clients’ income sources before opening an account for them.

Bawa gave the directive during a courtesy visit to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), led by its Chairman, Yinka Tiamiyu on Tuesday.

The 41-year-old chairman told banks to be more committed to tackling financial crimes and related challenges in the banking sector.

Bawa also urged bank auditors to take transparency in banking operations seriously, adding that from September 1, the commission will hold banks liable where there is established institutional complicity in fraud in the sector.

He expressed the commission’s willingness to collaborate with the association in combating financial crime and other issues in the banking sector.

Bawa stated;

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.

The EFCC boss further warned that the agency will start holding banks liable where there are established cases of institutional complicity in fraud in the sector.

In a meeting with bank directors last week, he said financial institutions must help fight fraudulent election financing, foreign exchange malpractices, and money laundering.

Read Also: Hoteliers Accommodating Yahoo Boys Risk Jail – EFCC

Bawa added;

Any banker complicit in any such financial fraud will face the full wrath of the law. It is better to have fewer banks complying with the laws of the land than to have multiple banks not complying with the laws.

In his remarks, Tiamiyu stated that they were in the Commission to seek improved collaboration between banks and the EFCC in combating economic and financial crimes.

He reaffirmed banks’ commitment to sanitizing the nation’s financial system as main actors, stressing that it was not in the institutions’ best interests to foster or repress financial misconduct.

On his part, Uduak Udoh, vice-chairman of the association, said some customers are conniving with bank staff to loot funds, while seeking support from the commission.

He added;

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.

Read Also: Bank Workers To Declare Assets From June 1 – EFCC

In March, the anti-corruption agency asked bank employees to declare their assets — as a part of efforts to check the role of bankers in keeping funds acquired illegitimately.

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