BANK FRAUD AND MALPRACTICE: SOURCES, FORMS AND CAUSES . A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON BANKING AND FINANCE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Banking activities in Nigeria date back to the free wanting between 1895 when the first bank, the African banking corporation where enacted in Nigeria.
In the free-banking period (1892 – 1952) there were no banking acts neither were there any ordinances to regulate the establishment and operation of commercial banks in Nigeria, many bank were registered some of which did not mean business while others simply collected customers deposits and vanished. This derailed the economy of valuable funds needed for development and individuals of their herd earned funds. This also brought about loss of faith and trust in the commercial banks by Nigerians.
However, even with the introduction of the first banking ordinance in 1952 and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordinance in 1958 to regulate and control the activities of commercial and merchant banks in the country, fraud and malpractice have increased in size and the method used required greater sophistication by the day.
Fraud in our banks invoices summary techniques or forms such as: forgeries of bank instruments like: drafts, cheque, vouchers, letter of authority, falsification of accounts and records and cash fraud, from past records the assumptions is that dishonest or misappropriation or rather fraud in which ever form, succeed only with the aid of bank employees who conceives with disguised customers wearing innocent faces inefficiency and negligence in terms of leadership or supervisory roles on the part of the bank officials constitute yet another handicap through which dishonesty, fraud perse prevail or succeed in our banks. This can manifest as prescribed by the industry.
Presently, with the instruction of modern banking proceeding improved communication system, automotive electric gadgets and computers into banking industry, frauds have rather gone nuclear dimension inspire of the wonderful nature of the computer and all the precautionary measure taken by banks to prevent fraud in their banks. The amount involved in fraud nowadays have increased in geometric progression Olaleya Amupiten in his written on ‘obstacles to growth of banking industry” said that “it was discovered during investigation that banks now take extra precaution before clearing a cheque because of rampant incident of frauds and forgeries, which a bank loss placed on the average of N1 million per each working day of the year in Nigeria.
Banking in a bid to reduce the incessant occurrence of frauds in their banks, now take adequate precautionary measures before clearing cheque drawn on their customers accounts. Those adequate precautionary measures gives rise to another problem facing commercial banks that is the problem of time wastage in the banking halls. Ashimi Kola in his article also said that customers wait a minimum of about two hours in the banking halls of Nigerian banks to cash their money. This has been one of it’s most legitimate criticism of the quality of baking services. The checking process is long and by the time a cheque is released to the cashier for payment the customer is frustrated and perhaps had fallen asleep. This calls for an overall of the checking and control system.