How secure is clients’ money in banks, Is it still safe to save with banks?

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Centenary Bank’s management released a statement on October 18, 2023, acknowledging fraudulent activities in one of their clients’ accounts. The fraud was carried out with the help of a bank employee who reset the customer’s PIN and withdrew money from the account.

Upon the customer’s report of missing funds, the bank initiated investigations into the matter. It was discovered that there was collusion between a fraudster and one of the bank’s staff members. They performed a PIN reset, enabling transactions at agents where the funds were withdrawn.

The bank took immediate disciplinary action against the staff member involved, in accordance with their zero-tolerance policy for fraud. They also reported the case to the police for their handling of the fraudster.

The bank promptly refunded the client’s money and urged all clients to report any suspicious activity or messages they might notice on their accounts for verification.

A week ago, Farouk Ssekandi, a client of Equity Bank, took to social media in a viral video accusing the bank of taking Ugx 10 million shillings from his account. He claimed that the bank had refused to refund his money.

In response, the bank issued a statement denying any involvement in the fraud. They explained that they are obligated to uphold client confidentiality and, therefore, cannot disclose customer interactions in the media.

According to Deloitte, a forensic and litigation support organization, Uganda loses approximately Ugx 25 billion to bank fraud every year. In 2021 alone, Centenary Bank lost Ugx 3 billion due to internal fraud. This raises the question of how safe savers’ money is in banks.

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