Co-operative Bank is on the spot over weak systems that have defrauded its customers’ money amounting to hundreds of millions of shillings.
From information gathered through testimonials, court cases and inside sources, Punchline can authoritatively unearth the rot in Kenya’a third largest bank.
Employees of the bank work with external defrauders to scam bulks of cash from unsuspecting customers.
Despite the bank noting a lapse in its ICT systems, no tangible efforts have been taken to nab the scammers or to fix the hitch.
In May 2011, Anthony Chege moved to court after his Co-op Bank account was frozen.
From his findings, Chege’s account had been deposited with Sh14 million as proceeds from a betting fraud.
Upon realizing the mysterious deposit, the bank frozed Chege’s accounts on grounds that the money was not clean.
Consequently, Chege moved to court to object the action since it affected his existing bank balance before the Sh14million deposit.
In his ruling, Justice Ochieng held that the bank did not review its systems or stop the fraudulent transactions four months after the investigations department had raised the red flag.
“By failing to act appropriately and in a timely fashion, the bank negligently contributed to continued debiting of an account which did not have requisite funds to meet such debits,” the judge held, in declining the bank’s demand for Sh14 million from the plaintiff.
On top of such a fraud lies tens of concerns from Central Kenya Farmers whose farm assets were auctioned by the bank, this despite, the government having paid the loans in full.
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Not to mention, several salaried civil servants who consequently report suspicious deposits into their accounts mysteriously.
One such instance was reported at Co-operative Bank Kawangware branch.
At the branch, it emerged that some employees made huge deposits to some customers’ accounts and authorized withdrawals immediately the customers made inquiries.
One customer who experienced such a predicament revealed how she received shocking alerts at wee hours of the night.
“The CHEQUE you deposited at the branch dropbox of KES 160,831 has been received to account 0111xxx9735800.RefID: 42839xx01.”
Despite bare evidence at the bank’s disposal, no tangible measure has been taken to amend the issue.
A spot check on the company’s Facebook account showed numerous complaints but customers over faulty ATM cards and broken down systems.
Unlike other banks where customers do quick transactions via ATM, Coop clients spend hours queuing because of slow ATM machines.
Until two weeks ago, the bank has been charging Sh35 for balance inquiries via mobile USSD code unlike in other banks where the service is free.
It is time Co-op Bank CEO Gideon Muriuki thinks about the reputation of what was once most preferred bank.