The Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) says the move to rally the different security sectors seeks to find means of curbing fraud in the different complex incidents it appears. This crime has been aided by the digital revolution which gives fraudsters an advantage of new technologies to steal money from financial institutions.
Banks urged to increase working hours for employees to curb financial fraud
The Uganda banking sector has called upon its members to increase security against financial fraud by closing gaps in working hours. It has also enlisted security agencies and the judiciary to devise solutions to the rising problem of financial fraud that has increasingly hit the country.
During their first Financial Fraud Forum on Thursday this week, they also cited a weak legal regime that provides light penalties to culprits.
While addressing the meeting, UBA Executive Director Wilbrod Owor urged banks to maintain their work schedule throughout weekends and public holidays, saying that the institutions are more vulnerable at this time because vital departments are closed.
He asked the judicial bodies to amend the laws to make fraud a costly crime to deter fraudsters as much as possible.
Owor said there are 18 known forms of fraud which are divided into three categories.
- Cyber, electronic, or digital fraud accounts for 31.9 percent of the crime.
- Loan-related fraud accounts for 25.7 percent. It includes forging loan request letters, impersonation when applying for a loan, and overvaluation of collateral.
- Impersonation accounts for 42.4 percent and it includes identity theft, cash suppression, and forgery.
Public social-cultural awareness
He also asked account holders in banks and mobile money to be vigilant with their personal details.
Pius Perry Biribonwoha, the Deputy Solicitor General called for social-cultural transformation in the public and banking staff to render fraudsters outcasts and fraud an undesirable crime.
According to a survey by the association, by December 2022 Shs43.6 billion had been reported missing through fraud.
He noted that once the laws are strengthened, financial institutions can start applying blacklists and exposure as part of the measures against fraud targeting fraudsters and staff.
Existing laws that persecute fraudsters
Recently, parliament passed anti-money laundering laws, but they don't directly address financial fraud hence the continued existence of weak penalties.
Commissioner of Police and Deputy Director Information Communication Technology Yusuf Ssewanyana said cases of financial fraud are persecuted under existing laws like the Computer Misuse Act and the Data Protection Act.
However, there's more capacity building in the force to make it more equipped to handle financial fraud cases as they emerge.
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