Tuesday 7 June 2011

Nigeria: Banking on some assurances

Some progress

I can report that following the unfortunate episode of scamming that my mother suffered yesterday and my communication with Stanbic IBTC Bank some progress has been made.

The first response I got from them did not appear to satisfy my need to be convinced that the bank was taking the issue seriously that I both responded and blogged about the situation expressing my dissatisfaction with their actions.

This morning, I received a more proactive email that suggested I rest assured that the matter was receiving the diligence it deserves – it was as assuring as it was obscure in meaning but I decided to give it time just in case subsequent readings of the email would persuade me of their growing commitment to tackle this matter with resource and enthusiasm unprompted but for the sake of integrity and reputation.


Just over 20 minutes ago, I received a call from an official of Stanbic IBTC Bank who was on this case and I was given more convincing assurances that they intend to see this matter to a resolution, even a more satisfactory resolution, if I dared dream it would happen.

I can understand that the bank would prefer I instituted legal or criminal proceedings to apprehend the criminal but that would be costly and stressful enough for my mother to handle in Nigeria and quite an extension of my ambit to manage from abroad.

Rather, the ideal would be for the bank to recognise that unlike other scams that use the less secure and less trust-reposed services of Western Union or MoneyGram; the criminal latched onto the reputational capital of Stanbic IBTC Bank to perpetrate a criminal enterprise that victims on realising they were dealing through a bank would have thought the whole scheme was above board.

Where the onus should lie

Obviously, the criminal might not have realised that there were ways to glean together all the bits of information to create a formidable investigation file and case for apprehension and arraignment.

Though, I believe that it should be the onus, initiative, duty, obligation and in the exclusive interest of the bank to pursue relentlessly those who tap on their reputational capital as a channel for their criminal enterprise; we as victims cannot in and of ourselves fight for maintaining the integrity of the Nigerian banking system; there is much more at risk and at stake for the banks than whatever individuals have lost through unfortunate and vulnerable circumstances.

Meanwhile, I have been promised useful and effective communication in the investigation of this issue.

A good resolution would be to apprehend this man and his network of accomplices, the better resolution would be to regain all the funds that melted away into the hands of the criminal and the best resolution would be a banking system in Nigeria that would brook none of this criminality, the ability to write glowingly about this and whatever else can put a smile on people’s faces – at home and abroad.

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