GTBank halts electronic transfer services, as fraudsters breach its IT system


By The Citizen

Some fraudsters have breached the information technology system of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) PLC, forcing it to halt some electronic-based services.

THE CITIZEN can authoritatively report that a fraud that sleazed some millions of naira from the account of one of the founding fathers of the GTBank forced it to stop instant money transfers, both from their internet banking services and savings account. Instead, the bank has restricted all transfers to current account.

According to a reliable source in the information technology unit of the bank, who pleaded for anonymity, the fraud happened like a speed of light. “Some fraud stars opened some savings accounts, had access into one of our founder’s account, and wired the money into their savings accounts instantly. In two days, the millions had left their accounts, withdrawn through Automated Teller Machines (ATM), even breaking some rules guiding ATM withdrawals” he said.

THE CITIZEN learnt that when the account owner raised the alarm and drew the attention of the management to the fraud, the bank immediately halted all electronic transfers before it later approved the use of current accounts for initiating any form of electronic money transfers bank wide.

According to him, when this happened many heads rolled in the bank, including the account officer, branch manager, and others in operations and IT. Some of them were redeployed to other units.

He said, “The bank stopped electronic transfers from savings account because the level of documentation in the account opening process is low compared with what obtains in current account.

“Besides, the bank noticed that most of the frauds that hit the bank in the recent time,  especially after the Cashless Policy took effect in Lagos, were perpetrated mainly from savings accounts. Also, the bank settled for NEFT, which is a product of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc which tarries for some hours before the transaction is completed, at least to give room for further verifications.”

Some customers that THE CITIZEN spoke with concerning their inability to do instant money transfers from their GTBank accounts confirmed the development, as they complained that they suddenly realised that they could not execute such transactions from their savings accounts any longer.

“The annoying thing is that since such change in policy took place, the bank has not offered any explanation to its customers,” a bank’s customer, who identified himself simply as Timothy, said.

Attempts by THE CITIZEN to obtain the comment of the bank proved abortive. Calls put through to the cell phone of Ogechi of Corporate Communications Unit of the bank were not answered and an SMS sent to her phone was not responded to.

GTBank is one of the banks that pride themselves as technology-competent.  It harps on its state-of-the-art technology as a selling point.



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