Much thought and research are increasingly being directed at the study of fraud prevention and control as the rate of its perpetration is on the increase. Frauds in commercial banks is as old as the industry itself. The research carried out delved into salient issues on types of fraud, causes of fraud and the effectiveness of frauds preventive measures. The major causes of frauds in commercial banks include social and economic conditions, misplaced social values, insufficient internal control system and lack of corporate culture against fraud. Preventive measures range from greater supervision of staff, proper training and rotation of staff, prompt prosecution of Fraudsters amongst others. The study and the findings therein, have provided some useful recommendations which include; surveillance over long serving officers in entrusted positions by management, thorough effective checks and balance system, management information system and review procedures. The incidence of fraud in commercial banks can only be minimized once there obtains a greater sense of discipline, accountability and patriotism within the wider Nigerian society.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Fraud is a `cankerworm’ that has eaten deep into the nation’s fabrics. It is visible in all the sectors of the economy. In the financial sector, fraud is an `offshoot’ of financial crimes which covers offences, which are securities, related and involves the movement, transfer or use of monetary instruments in circumstances, which render such acts unlawful. The above definition can be extended to include any dishonest, unethical or unprofessional conduct which results in financial loss to someone or institution for the benefit of another. Financial fraud include but are not limited to the following, chequekiting, loan fraud, advance fee frauds securities frauds, account opening frauds, insiderdetling clearing frauds, computer-frauds, telex fraud and money laundering.
Fraud as stated earlier is not peculiar to the banking industry but cuts across other sectors of the economy. Frauds in banks are not new, infact, it is as old as the industry itself. But in recent times, the practice has assumed an alarming proportion. Sometimes, the act is carried out by outsiders while in most cases there is a collaborated effort between outsiders and staff to perpetrate this financial crime.
Against this background, government in its effort to combat frauds and other financial crimes has set up various monitoring and control commissions such as the independent corrupt practices and other related offences commission (ICPC), which is the apex body, saddled with the responsibility of fighting corruption and other related offences. The ICPC was inaugurated on the 20th of September 2002. The act establishment this commission in section 3 provides for the independence of the commission and gives the chairman authority to rescue order for the control and general administration of the commission and financial crimes commission (EFCC) which was established in 2002. Another is the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).