August 25, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked banks in the country to investigate the sources of income of their potential customers before opening an account.
Chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, gave the charge on Tuesday when the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), led by the Chairman, Yinka Tiamiyu, paid him a courtesy visit at the agency`s headquarters, in Abuja.
Bawa implored the bank auditors to take issues of transparency in banking operations seriously, adding that starting from September 1, 2021, it will no longer be business as usual as the commission will hold banks liable where there are established cases of institutional complicity in fraud in the sector.
He assured of the commission’s willingness to partner with the association in tackling financial crimes and related challenges in the banking sector.
“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,” Bawa said.
Tiamiyu, in his remarks, said they were in the commission to seek improved partnership between banks and the EFCC in tackling economic and financial crimes.
He reiterated the commitment of banks as lead actors in the nation’s financial system to sanitising the system, noting that it was not in the interest of the organisations to incubate or suppress financial malfeasance.
Amplifying this point, Uduak Udoh, Vice Chairman of the Association said, “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 organisation.”
They used the opportunity of the visit to highlight issues of concern to them and their organisations, including fast-tracking the consideration of petitions from banks by the EFCC.