Banks are stealing from Malawians

A spate of occurrences at some of the country’s top commercial banks are proving that their information and computer technology systems are compromised; and, in turn, the financial systems are robbing unsuspecting Malawians of their hard-earned money in broad daylight, Nyasa Times can reveal.

In the last month, such banks as First Capital Bank and ECOBANK, among others, have frustrated customers whose cause has been inconsistencies on the banks’ ICT.

A social commentator, Jackson Msiska, has described the recent development at the banks as an “alarming surge in ICT crimes which must be halted as soon as possible.”

Said Msiska: “First we were complaining about Mpamba and Airtel Money thieves. Now it seems the thieves have upped their game, and are enroute to robbing Malawians through the very same commercial banks they trusted in so much.”

Kitmass Ngoleka, a farmer from Lumbadzi is one such victim. From January 14, 2020, when he opened a bank account with First Capital Bank’s Lilongwe City Centre Branch, which he opted for after their numerous adverts on the radio, he made nine deposits from his farming business, and by December 4, 2020 his balance was K2, 021, 985. 34.

Ngoleka, according to his testimony, made further deposits at the beginning of January 2021 of K100 000 through his brother, Charles, and then deposited K500 000 through his sister, Edna.

But when he went to the bank to withdraw K600 000 so his sister could inject into her business, Ngoleka was told that his balance was K621, 500.61.

The teller told him that on December 5, 2020 he had made withdrawals through Airtel Money, totalling to K2 million.

Bank statements were printed out for him and, indeed, the money had been siphoned from his bank account using the Airtel Money numbers +265 995 727 359, +265 995 798 051, +265 997 476 978, +265 995 276 446.

First Capital Bank Malawi: Taken to task on social media

One of the numbers, Nyasa Times checked, belongs to one Chimwemwe Kennedy, while another belongs to First Capital Bank.

The bank has shifted the blame on Ngoleka saying he might have been careless with his One-Time-Password (OTP) sent to him on December 5 2021, which the latter says he never received.

Social activist, Onjezani Kenani, who has been helping Ngoleka in following up the issue through his widely followed Facebook, said: “We cannot allow you to steal from the poor. How was this theft possible without collusion with someone within the bank? With all those know-your-client procedures, how did FCB approve the linkage to all these numbers?”

And, Ngoleka is not alone. Dennis Imaan has had his own fair-share of frustration with Ecobank Malawi Ltd.

After making a cash deposit, his money could not reflect in his account for ten days. He took his rants to Facebook, and in less than 20 minutes his funds were processed and accessible.

Following the developments, writer and social commentator, Shadreck Chikoti, said what the financial institutions were doing was totally unfair.

He said: “Banks are stealing from Malawians. We need a citizen action on this now!” Chikoti’s post has received massive support with most commenting that they have been hurt by the banks in one way or another.

And, Nicholas Msowoya, a former media trainer, said: “Institutions of higher learning offering ICT should step in and redesign academic programs, short courses for bankers and mobile operators, and also come up with cyber security products to address this digital theft in banks. It seems thieves are beating ICT professionals in the banks and mobile phone companies at their home ground.”

 

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Arthur
Arthur
1 month ago

On 2nd May my National bank account was also debited almost all the money I had through Mo626 and indicating that they are TNM guys trying to upgrade my phone into 4G. It is surprising that both TNM and the bank have not acted despite getting a search warrant from Police and the court. I am surprised. I support that citizens should be mobilised against TNM and banks. Lawyers help us. These institutions are taking advantage of our quietness and individualism. Lawyers come forward to support

chezney knockers
chezney knockers
1 month ago

I have had an incident last month, the banks employees seem to be involved, after all they have your passport copy when you open and account and all your details, they register sim card and create email accounts pretend to be you, emails sent supposedly from you to the banks employee to transfer funds, set up airtel money etc. If you don’t regularly check your statements millions can go missing. My case is now with physical police, the bank have stated that one of their employees has been arrested.I am waiting for my funds back as the banks I am… Read more »

Ginimbi
Ginimbi
1 month ago

These Banks are robbing us. From MuBucks Bank if you check your balance at ATM the deduct K150.00 if you withdraw they deduct K300.00. Worse still, if you withdraw from inside per withdrawal they deduct K800.00. Can you imagine? I am now thinking of closing the account.

Chigutyuka
Chigutyuka
1 month ago

Its not an ICT problem but the people uaing the systems. This has been going on for so long only that this time people are a little bit aware and re able to shout dor help. Unfortunately, the regulator, RBM, is too passive to descipline these banks.

PATRON
PATRON
1 month ago

I remember just a month ago some guy was arrested after posting these issues on social media. What do these banks have to say now that a lot of people are coming out? Instead of fixing the problem, they arrest the poor guy

Elmat
Elmat
1 month ago

Fcb has started feeding it’s atms with 1000 kwacha notes so you can only withraw 40,000 at a time so if you want to withdraw 80,000 you need to make 2 transaction do the can charge you mk300 each time.

Chigutyuka
Chigutyuka
1 month ago
Reply to  Elmat

This industry is not properly regulated. Gone re the days when one used to benefit for saving with the bank. The charfes in all banks are more than the interest one can earn.. eish

Gfg
Gfg
1 month ago
Reply to  Elmat

FIRST CAPITAL BANK at Chitakale, Mulanje is even worse. They feed the ATM with K200.00 notes and it is indeed robbery. I wonder what the Bank Management is doing.

It is sad these Banks are now becoming irresponsible and do not care about the pain they inflict on the users of their ATM machines.

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