Equity Bank launches investigations into fraud claims

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Equity Bank launches investigations into fraud claims
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Equity Bank has opened investigations into suspected fraud in its stock loan and agent float financing.

In a statement dated March 7, 2024, Equity Bank admitted possibilities of fraud within its services and said they have embarked on investigations regarding the matter.

“The portfolio currently under investigation is approximately Shs65 billion out of a loan book of Shs1.9 trillion and is equivalent to 1.8% of Equity Bank Uganda total assets.” the statement by Equity reads in part.

The bank said, it has since embarked on collaborations with some of its staff and customers to assist law enforcement officers in investigations.

Amid the investigations, the bank has committed to holding itself to the highest standards of accountability and transparency.

“Any person found to be responsible, whether through fraud or errors of commission or omission will be dealt with in accordance with the policies, procedures and ethical values of the organisation, and where appropriate, the laws of the country,” the bank stated.

The bank further assured its customers of safety and security of their deposits across its branches and service outlets across the country.

“The board of directors and management are committed to resolving and concluding this matter and we continue to focus at all times on our purpose of transforming lives, giving dignity and expanding opportunities for wealth creation.”

Ugandan, has recently experienced a rise in cases of financial fraud, leading to many customers losing their hard-earned money to fraudsters.

According to the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) report released in June 2022, cyber frauds accounted for over 50% of the high value fraud cases under investigation and annual fraud losses.

Last month, Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA) chairperson Sarah Arapta revealed that in efforts to combat banking fraud, together with other stakeholders, they were working on a legal framework for prevention, deterrence and remediation of the vice within the sector.

She noted that if approved by the policymakers, the framework would see convicts of financial crime face harsher punishments.

“We would like to be in a position where if one is convicted of serious financial fraud and black or red listed, no financial institution in Uganda can maintain an account for you or transact with you in addition to the other cross-border and international sanction imposed on such fraudsters,” Arapta said.

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