The Bank of Uganda has expressed its support for customers who have raised concerns publicly about discovering missing funds from their bank accounts.
The regulatory body emphasizes the need for the implicated financial institutions to promptly address such issues.
Jonah Waiswa, the head of public education at BOU, has acknowledged the increasing number of complaints and appreciates the public’s growing awareness of their rights. However, he cautions that certain customer reactions may not present the best image for the banks in terms of public relations.
Waiswa’s remarks come in response to a recent wave of public outcry regarding the security of customer deposits within the banking system, particularly exemplified by incidents involving Centenary Bank and Equity Bank Uganda. In one instance, an individual recorded himself expressing frustration about the lack of response from bank staff after discovering the disappearance of 10 million shillings from his account at Equity Bank.
Equity Bank released a statement assuring that they were investigating the matter and would take appropriate actions based on the investigation’s findings. Similarly, Centenary Bank responded to a distraught customer who found 113 million shillings missing from her account. They later revealed that an internal staff member had colluded with a fraudster to manipulate the customer’s PIN and withdraw the funds at various bank agents.
Waiswa, part of the BOU team leading the nationwide financial literacy program “BOU Town Hall Meetings,” highlights that most fraudulent activities occur when the perpetrator gains access to customers’ personal details, especially those connected to their mobile phone numbers. He notes that banks often remain unaware of such incidents until they are reported, allowing them to promptly freeze affected accounts until the issue is resolved.
Waiswa urges customers to report the loss of their mobile phones or any personal details to their banks before contacting the police.