Nigeria now has a Watch List for Financial Criminals

watch list

You must have heard about watch list for terrorists and financial criminals in other climes and you think whether Nigeria has any.

Well Nigeria’s anti-corruption war might be raised by another notch as the Central Bank of Nigeria said it is putting together a process to create proper watch list for financial criminals and individuals who have at one point in time carried out unethical financial activities.

In a circular to all financial institutions, the CBN has released the framework for creating the watch list. The apex said the aim of the watch list is to “address the increasing incidence of fraud/forgeries and other unethical practices” with the aim of “engendering the needed public confidence that will ensure a safe and sound financial system”

The CBN said: “The Watch-list is a database of bank customers identified by their Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) who have been involved in confirmed fraudulent activities.

On the modalities of how the database will be managed, the CBN said: “The database will be hosted by NIBSS.”

Financial institutions are supposed to follow the draft framework to play their part in making the watch list system work.

As a result of the new process, banks will be updating their account opening terms and conditions. For instance, banks must inform customers in the opening form that; “Any potential fraud found in the operation of their accounts will incur restrictions to your accounts and reports made to appropriate law enforcement agencies.”

Financial fraud and crimes are becoming rampant across the financial system. While some gains are being made in minimising eFraud and other scams perpetrated by internal and external parties in the financial system, there are disturbing trends of email frauds and hacking incidence that are being used by criminals to defraud people.

However, banks and financial institutions have invested more in their digital security protocols. Virtually all banks now use two-factor authentication that are now linked with mobile identities and BVN numbers of each customers. Nonetheless, risks of hacking still persist and a major threat to the system.

A financial fraud/crime watch list will be a good way in identifying criminals in the system and following up with them to either apprehend or preempt their acts.

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