By Mukwuzi Joseph
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has directed banks to investigate sources of income of their customers before account opening.
He gave the order yesterday when the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), led by its chairman, Yinka Tiamiyu, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
The commission implored the auditors to take issues of transparency in banking operations seriously, adding that beginning from September 1, it would no longer be business as usual, as the commission would hold banks liable for established cases of institutional complicity in fraud.
Bawa, however, affirmed the anti-graft agency’s willingness to partner with the association in tackling financial crimes and related challenges in the industry.
“I will like to urge you to know your customers, the kind of businesses they do before opening accounts for them,” he said.
Tiamiyu, in his remarks, said they were at 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 sanitise the system, noting that it was not in the interest of the organisation to check financial malfeasance.
Corroborating, the association’s vice chairman, Uduak Udoh, submitted: “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.”
The visitors seized the opportunity to highlight key issues, including fast-tracking the consideration of petitions from banks by the EFCC.