Nigeria’s federal government, through the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has queried Wema Bank Plc over illegal banking practice in the country.
This comes after allegations that the bank and its agents have been opening unauthorized accounts for customers with information sourced from their Bank Verification Number (BVN) details.
In a tweet posted on its official handle on Friday, the commission said the situation was becoming widespread and should not be ‘secretly tackled’.
“Can Wema Bank comment publicly on the message that consumers without Wema Bank accounts are receiving across the country, allegedly from the bank? This situation is widespread and cannot be a DM issue anymore. Wema Bank has to come clean,” the tweet from the commission read.
A reporter who had hitherto not had an account WEMA, said that despite not operating any account with the bank, the lender opened an account on his behalf with information sourced from his BVN.
“I don’t have any account with Wema Bank but I was shocked when I begin to receive messages from them via my email linked to my BVN, informing me that my account was safe with them.
“I have contacted the bank to report the development but to no avail. They have continued to send same mail.
“This means someone is using my details for banking transactions. It’s fraud and I shall seek legal redress,” he said.
Another lady who simply identified herself as Arya Stark, had tweeted about the bank’s incessant messages, going on to describe the action as a violation of data rights.
“Hey Wema Bank! I dont own a wema bank acct, never owned one. The other day, I got OTP, now I got emails like I’m a customer. I have also read some fraudulent activities in your bank. This is a violation of data rights with CBN. I need a lawyer!,” her tweet read.
Wema Bank responded to her tweet, requesting that she send them a private message so that the issue could be addressed.
The FCCPC will, however, immediately step in, requesting that the bank tell the general public what the messages are all about.
However, Reporterswall approached a senior staff of the bank, a branch located in a busy area of Lagos and what he has to say was very interesting. This staff who agreed to speak to us on grounds of being anonymous said the reports are not far from the truth and that the reaction of the public was not anticipated. He also went on to say that it did not just start now, just that it is not that the public noticed. He also said that this act is not open to all staff, apparently there are people specially cut out for this.
We hope to speak more to our source as this story unfolds.