BOU urges bank customers ‘to make noise when you lose money’

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER|  Bank of Uganda has backed customers who have recently taken to the public to voice their concerns after finding money missing from their bank accounts. This, the regulator says, compels the responsible financial institution to act swiftly to address the matter.

BOU head of public education Jonah Waiswa says amidst the increasing number of complaints, the regulator is happy that the public is becoming aware of their rights and not keeping quiet. He however warned that reactions by some customers are not the best public relations for the banks.

He was reacting to a fresh public outcry over the safety of customer deposits in the banking system, with the latest major incidents involving Centenary Bank and Equity Bank Uganda. In the Equity incident, a man is seen filming himself ranting about the lack of response by the banking staff after he had found sh10 million missing from his account.

The Bank issued a statement saying they had taken up the matter for investigation and the outcome would inform the action to address the customer’s plight. At Centenary, a woman crying after finding about 113 million shillings missing from her account, is seen being consoled by banking staff.

Centenary issued a statement later saying they would find out what happened to the money. A day later it was discovered that a staff member connived with a fraudster and they tampered with the personal identification number (PIN) to transfer the money, which they later withdrew at different bank agents.

Waiswa, who is part of the BOU team on a countrywide financial literacy program dubbed “BOU Town Hall Meetings” said most of the fraud happens when the perpetrator gains access to the personal details of the customers, especially those whose accounts are connected to their mobile phone numbers.

He argues that in many cases even the banks are not aware of the robbery happening until it is reported. This, according to him enables the bank to immediately prevent any activity on the affected account until the owner sorts the matter.

He urges the customers who lose their mobile phones or any of their details, to report immediately to their banks before even going to the police to report the loss of their items.

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