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Corporate

KCB sacks 31 employees in crackdown on fraud

Customers at a KCB banking hall. file photo | nmg
Customers at a KCB banking hall. file photo | nmg 

KCB Group #ticker:KCB, Kenya’s biggest bank by assets, last year sacked 31 employees accused of fraud and professional negligence.

The number was a slight improvement compared to the 33 staff fired in 2015 for abetting fraud — which led to the loss of an undisclosed amount of cash.

KCB dismissed about 90 employees accused of fraud in 2014 — highlighting a general decrease in the number of bankers sent home for stealing cash or conning customers.

“The bank also uses a combination of various anti-fraud measures including risk assessments, fraud awareness, whistleblowing hotlines, together with audit and fraud reviews to monitor and manage fraud risk throughout the group,” KCB chief executive Joshua Oigara said in a statement.

The dismissals are disclosed in KCB’s latest sustainability report, which highlights issues beyond the topline and bottom-line such as corporate governance and integrity.

Many Kenyan banks suffer massive losses due to staff fraud every year, but the majority prefer to keep the information secret fearing a public relations backlash and brand damage.

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM and KCB are the only listed firms in Kenya which reveal staff fraud data.

“As you are aware banking is based on trust including public, customer and investor confidence. Fraud is an industry challenge and not just a KCB issue,” said Mr Oigara.

In total, KCB has fired 154 employees for fraud and unethical behaviour since 2014. Official data released by KCB shows that the number of fraud cases reported decreased to 57 last year from 87 in 2015.

However, the number of fraud cases that led to actual staff dismissals increased to 31 in 2016 from 20 the previous year.

A study by Deloitte shows that the most prevalent forms of financial crime reported in Kenya are cash theft, cheque fraud, plastic money scams and electronic funds transfer fraud.

Safaricom sacked 16 of its staff in the period to March 2016, down from 58 workers the previous year, and 56 employees in the year 2014.

Safaricom’s sustainability reports show the mobile telephony firm has sacked a total of 130 employees in the since 2014 over theft and bribery.

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