Magu Cautions Banks against Abuse of Post ‘No Debit’ Order, Whistle-blowing Policy

Ibrahim Magu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, yesterday called on officials in the financial institutions in the country to be wary of “dubious individuals or groups within and outside their establishments”, who abuse both the whistle-blowing policy of the federal government as well as the Post No Debit, PND, Order in the sector.

He said there were strong indications that some banks officials divulge information on high-net-worth accounts to their accomplices, who in turn obtain a purported PND order to fleece unsuspecting customers.

Magu gave the warning during a meeting with Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Lagos.

He also lamented that the Post No Debit (PND) order was being abused by certain individuals in connivance with “unscrupulous bank officials” to achieve some set goals.

According to him, “these individuals demand bogus five per cent commission on the isolated high-net-worth accounts of the bank customers, thereby making a mockery of the whistle-blowing policy of the federal government and subversion of ethical practice of the banks, which emphasises confidentiality of their customers.

“We must stop the unfolding connivance against high-net-worth accounts in the banks. Some of these accounts might not necessarily be under investigation.

“They might be inheritance or proceeds from genuine investments.”

Magu further sought the cooperation of the group to sanitise the banking industry, adding that Nigeria’s banking sector ought to be at par with that of developed countries.

In his response, one of the bankers commended Magu for engaging and interfacing with them regularly on various issues affecting the industry.

He assured Magu that “we would go back and look inward for people who might be involved in such untoward acts of giving out information on their customers’ bank accounts.”

He described the practice of divulging information as a breach of the fundamental principles of the banking industry which must be seriously addressed.

“I want to urge you to always pass any intelligence or information that needs the attention of the banks for us to proactively address it.

“We will continue to partner with the Commission to ensure that the banking industry is sanitised,” he further stated.