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Corporate

KCB sends over 90 staffers packing in fraud crackdown

KCB Group Chief Executive Joshua Oigara. KCB
KCB Group Chief Executive Joshua Oigara. KCB has sacked about 90 employees in the past one year over fraud and professional negligence. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KCB Group has sacked about 90 employees in the past one year over fraud and professional negligence, highlighting the rising cases of economic crime in corporate Kenya.

The lender said eight per cent of its 2013 employees or 431 workers left the group last year and 22 per cent of the ex-staff were fired because of fraud.

This indicates that the bank dismissed 94 employees last year based on the listed staff count of 5,393.

The dismissals are contained in KCB’s newly-released sustainability report, which highlights the firm’s economic, environmental, social and governance performance as opposed to the annual report that is heavy on financial reporting.

“Our business is anchored in trust. We are therefore unapologetic for parting ways with members of staff who betray the ethical standards of behaviour that KCB Group abides by,” chief executive Joshua Oigara told the Business Daily. “Cases of fraud at KCB Group are investigated thoroughly and dealt with decisively.”

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KCB now joins Safaricom as the few companies in corporate Kenya to unveil their fraud statistics in a market where firms, according PricewaterhouseCoopers, prefer to remain silent over economic crimes fearing public relations backlash and brand damage.

Safaricom two weeks ago disclosed that it had fired 56 employees in the year ended March, following audit reviews at the telco.

The telco also issued 16 employees with warning letters while seven were reported to law enforcement agencies. Safaricom’s sacked employees increased from 33 the year. In the year to March 2012, the telco fired 70 workers due to fraud.

“We do not give you the option to resign when we fire you and if there is enough evidence we take you to court. We take ethics and corruption very seriously,” said CEO Bob Collymore.

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.

The Deloitte survey calls on banks and insurance firms to invest in robust technology and human resource to mitigate the impact of financial crimes and safeguard customer deposits and shareholder value. It faults banks’ strategies to preventing and combating fraud, as many of them have weak or inadequate internal controls.

“Some of the initiatives in place include zero tolerance to corruption, compulsory ethics and compliance online course for every employee, tightening of enforcement and monitoring tools,” said KCB in a statement.

Timothy Rotich Yatich, bulk cashier at KCB, was last year charged with defrauding the bank of Sh60 million.

READ: KCB employee charged with embezzling Sh60 million
The lender in 2009 took Ann Kajuju, then a senior manager at the bank, to court over alleged impropriety and fraud totalling Sh73.4 million.

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