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Business News of Monday, 27 September 2021


Growth in banks’ use of technology increases risks of cyber fraud – Addison

Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, has said that measures have been put in place by the central bank to ensure safer cyberspace in the financial sector of the local economy.

He explained that the more financial institutions resort to the use of technology, the more likely they are to be exposed to cyber frauds hence, and effective measures have been introduced by the regulator to deal with this situation.

He said during the 102nd Monetary Policy Committee of the BoG press conference in Accra on Monday September 27 that the regulator is working to ensure safer cyberspace for the banking sector in Ghana.

Asked what the BoG is doing to deal with cases of ATM Fraud, Dr Addison said “This is a developing matter, we are investigating it. As you know, financial services are becoming technology-driven financial services and so the risk associated with ATMs will also go up. Fortunately, we are looking very closely at that.

“We have the security operating centre at the Bank of Ghana which monitors our cyber resilience. Currently we are in the midst of establishing Financial Industries Hub.

“I believe the Bank of Ghana is ready, the Agriculture Development Bank is getting connected to that FisHub.

“Hopefully by a year from now we will have all 23 banks will connected to the industries hub and we will be able to monitor the cyber risk associated with the entire banking system in Ghana.”

The banking industry continues to record rising cases of fraud, with the latest figure hitting GH¢I billion in 2020, compared to GH¢115.51 million recorded in 2019.

A total count of 2,670 cases of banking fraud were recorded in 2020, as compared to 2,311 reported cases in 2019.

In all, there were 2,670 cases of fraud reported in 2020, up from the 2,311 cases reported in 2019.

This is contained in the 2020 banking industry fraud report released by the Bank of Ghana.

The banking sector fraud is mainly done through the ATM/POS, impersonation and remittance, which had recorded significant increase in 2020.

Related cases using ATM/POS accounted for 32.2 per cent of the total fraud in the sector, recording the highest loss value of GH¢8.19 million in 2020, up from the GH¢1.26 million recorded in 2019, representing a 548.1 per cent increase.

According to the report, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced bank customers to use alternative channels for payments and bank services.

But poor personal safety perception and inadequate customer sensitisation by banking institutions caused an upsurge in fraud perpetrated through ATM/POS.

The report states that the banks continued to maintain a 100 per cent rate of submissions, and that the rural and community banking sector also recorded a 75 per cent rate of submissions.