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Bankers Launch Anti-Fraud Measures, Calling for Stronger Punishments for Culprits :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Bankers Launch Anti-Fraud Measures, Calling for Stronger Punishments for Culprits

The Banking Industry Guidelines on Mitigation of Fraud (BIGF) framework provides for a Grey List for individuals or entities who are suspected of being involved in fraud, and a Black List that will feature those confirmed or convicted fraudsters, and these lists shall only be visible to designated officers or individuals as per the guidelines.
DG Atingi-Ego and UBA Chairperson, Arapta launch the anti-fraud guidelines

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The banking industry in Uganda has launched guidelines and a code of ethics aimed at harmonizing at strengthening the fight against fraud in the financial sector. Currently, the different financial institutions have different approaches and individual policies on fraud prevention, but this is seen as ineffective as long as there is no integrated system. 

The Banking Industry Guidelines on Mitigation of Fraud (BIGF) framework provides for a Grey List for individuals or entities who are suspected of being involved in fraud, and a Black List that will feature those confirmed or convicted fraudsters, and these lists shall only be visible to designated officers or individuals as per the guidelines. 

Sarah Arapta, the Chairperson Uganda Bankers Association urged for stricter enforcement of the laws, as well as a review of the penal regime to make the punishments to offenders more deterrent.   

//Cue in: “We unfortunately see… 

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“Placement on the grey list means the matter has moved from a suspicious fraud incident or involvement to internal investigations being concluded and the matter has been reported to Police, but conviction in court has not yet occurred,” says the UBA. 

Placement on the grey list requires member participants in the BIGF to be cautious and on the lookout regarding any transaction in which that party is involved. The Blacklist, on the other hand, shall entail customers, collaborators, and staff for whom judgment or conviction by a court of law has been secured. 

“Being on the blacklist will warrant denial of service to that individual or firm depending on the circumstances, by all members participating in the BIGF either permanently or for such period as may be recommended by the fraud committee,” it says. 

The Code of Conduct is a set of guiding principles, values, and standards, outlining expected behavior and ethical conduct for all staff of UBA member institutions and the secretariat. It is aimed at encouraging adherence to good corporate governance across the banking industry and serves as a framework for decision-making and maintaining integrity and compliance.  

The Code aims to uphold the highest ethical standards in all actions, conduct duties with professionalism and expertise, demonstrate honesty, trustworthiness, and moral principles, and abide by relevant laws, regulations, and industry best practices. Others are addressing risks “responsibly and proactively”, aligning behavior with organizational culture and values, making ethical decisions considering stakeholders' interests, and fostering trust among stakeholders through transparency and consistency, among others.

The industry says the rise in electronic, cyber, and other forms of financial crime is being abetted by technological evolution, which is otherwise vital for the improvement of service delivery. Arapta says the increasingly innovative youth population, lack of job opportunities, globalization, and availability of enabling digital tools, among others, are making it easier for crime to thrive. 

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Wibrod Owor, the UBA Executive Director, said the cybercrime industry is so lucrative and is increasingly getting more sophisticated and organised, with professionals in different fields, which is estimated at 10 billion dollars globally. 

This view is also shared by the Deputy Governor, of the Bank of Uganda, Michael Atingi-Ego, who says the only solution for the banking industry is to stay on top of the game. According to him, the hijacking of accounts and identity theft, which is a global crime, are on the rise and very challenging.  

//Cue in: “Account takeover frauds… 

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Atingi-Ego says the evolution of the digital industry was a welcome development, easing the service delivery by bankers to the public, and even making banking easy and attractive, yet the same technology, including ChatGPT, is now being used by criminals.  

//Cue in: “Unfortunately, malicious actors… 

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