As fraudsters and other criminals continue to intensify efforts to dupe unsuspecting Nigerians through phony loans and other luring financial services, the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) has urged members of the public to continue to patronise licensed Microfinance Banks (MfBs) in view of their high ethical standards in services delivery nationwide. Giving the advice through a statement signed by the Association’s National Publicity Secretary, Johnny Ekenze, the National President , Alhaji Yusuf Gyallesu, said it had become imperative for bank customers to eschew dealing with criminals now parading themselves as financial institutions’ agents in order to defraud them.
Gyallesu, who said the Association had in recent weeks been inundated with reports of incidents of sharp practices by fraudsters within the nation’s financial space, disclosed that the NAMB had been doing its best to promote best practices in licensed MfBs and stressed that findings showed that the micro lenders were adhering to highest ethical standards in their operations.
Apparently reacting to alleged malpractices in some ‘financial institutions’ in recent weeks, the banking expert said that to the best of the Association’s knowledge no prima facie evidence of fraud had been proved against any licensed MfB so far.
He said: “We begin by distancing our members from such unethical and criminal acts. Microfinance banks (MfBs) maintain high level of ethical standards because they are creations of the relevant laws/edicts with specified and well defined lines of operations.
“All our institutions are licensed and approved by government regulatory agencies, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) etc, to carry out microfinance banking businesses.
“Our members are routinely checked and examined by these regulatory authorities hence cannot indulge in such unethical and sharp practices. Our banks are well positioned to bring financial services and support government policies to the grassroots”, Gyallesu assured.
He, therefore advised members of the public to disregard any unsubstantiated allegation against any of NAMB-member MfBs and continue to do their legitimate businesses with the micro lenders in view of their strategic roles in financial inclusion and socio-economic growth of the grassroots.