AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF FRAUD IN THE NIGERIA BANKING INDUSTRY
(A CASE STUDY OF FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC)
In fact, the main aim of this research work was to carefully examine fraud in the banking industry using one selected bank from commercial bank. The reason behind this is that all the banks are similar and any discovery made will be appreciable to all the banks operating in the country.
The research identified and expose the causes, the various forms of fraud and its tremendous effects on banks in general. It delved into determining the presence of legal loophole in the Nigerian legal process which facilitates the perpetration of fraud. It also identify the means of preventing or reducing incidence of fraud in Nigeria Banking operations.
Apart from this, in carrying out this research questionnaires were distributed to bank staff. The information gathered from the respondents were supplemented with oral interviews, personal observation and a review of some related books journals and newspaper.
The responses of the returned questionnaire were analyzed under statistical chi – square, statistical distribution tables of frequencies, percentages, pie chart and bar chart for the purpose of generalization and influences based on the variable studied.
The result showed that there was evidence of fraud in the Nigerian banking industry and that its presence has consequently culminated into general public lack of interest in the banking industry.
Finally, from the foregone analysis, it is established that fraud reduces our economic development and the solutions proffered if carefully and fully implemented, it will go a long way to checking fraud in the banking operations.
The word fraud refers to the irregularities involving the use of criminal deception to obtain an unjust or illegal advantage. It send a wave of doubts, curiosity, anxiety and concern to people as regards the safety of be it financial or otherwise. It exists in different sectors of our nations economy, education, agriculture, mining, production, banking etc.
However, First Bank of Nigeria Plc was founded in 1894, by a shipping magnate from Liverpool, Sir Alfred Jones, the Bank commenced as a small operation in the office of Elder Dumpster & company in Lagos.
The Bank was incorporated as a limited liability company on March 31, 1894 with Head office in Liverpool. It started business under the corporate name of the Bank for British West Africa (BBWA) with a paid – up capital of 12,000pounds sterling, after absorbing its predecessor, the African Banking Corporation, which was established earlier in 1892. This signaled the pre – eminent position which the Bank was to establish in the banking industry in West Africa. In the early years of operations, the Bank recorded an impressive growth and worked closely with the colonial government in performing the traditional functions of a central bank, such as issue of specie in the West African sub region
To justify its West Africa coverage, a branch was opened I Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1896 and another in Freetown, Sierre Leone in 1898. These marked the genesis of the Bank’s international banking operations. The second branch of the Bank in Nigeria was in the old Calabar in 1900 and two years later services were extended to Northern Nigeria.
Currently with 339 branches spread throughout the federation, the Bank maintains the largest branch network in the industry. The Bank became the first financial institution in Nigeria to establish a subsidiary bank in the United Kingdom.
Over the years, the Bank has experienced phenomenal growth. With a share capital of N55.6 million in 1980, the Bank share capital grew to N1.270 billion as at March 2003. the bank’s total asset base was N320.58 billion while its deposit base stood at N193.955 billion as at March 2003. Also the Bank’s market capitalization stood at N66.05 billion i.e. N26.00k per share as at 31st March 2003.
To reposition and to take advantage of opportunities in the changing environment, the Bank embarked on several restructuring initiatives. In 1957, it changed its name from Bank of British West Africa to Bank of West Africa in 1969, the Bank was incorporated locally as the standard Bank of Nigeria Limited in line with the companies Decree of 1968.