Under fire First National Bank is embroiled in yet another scandal after a case was opened against a senior employee who allegedly leaked confidential client banking details to fraud suspects.
The employee, whose name is known to the Dispatch, is based at their Retail Park branch in Beacon Bay, East London. She is accused of playing a major role in a R3-million fraudulent claim that is under investigation.
Eastern Cape police said the investigation of fraud is underway against the woman and other co-accused. The bank has also confirmed to the Dispatch that they are investigating the allegations.
“FNB can confirm that an investigation into this matter is under way. The bank maintains a zero approach to all fraud related cases. We cannot provide further details at this stage,” FNB spokeswoman Lee-Anne van Zyl said.
This is after the bank’s client Simphiwe Vala from Mdantsane opened the case at the Cambridge police station after receiving R21000 in his FNB account instead of a R1.5-million he was entitled to from his late father’s estate. The estate included pension funds.
Vala claims that he was shocked to receive the money as he had never submitted a claim on his father’s pension funds at that time. In an affidavit, Vala said when he went to investigate the matter, the FNB employee confessed to him that she knew the people who took the form to him and that she signed it on behalf of the bank while she was well aware that the suspects were not the intended beneficiary.
The employee allegedly confessed to have cut a deal with the alleged fraudsters. She also allegedly attempted to bribe Vala in order to save her job, said the affidavit.
For the money to get into his bank account, meant that Vala would have had to go to FNB bank with the Government Employees Pension Fund Z894 claim form. The form had to be signed in his presence and stamped by the bank. Vala’s signature would have had to reflect on the form too. In an affidavit filed in October, Vala alleges that his signature was forged and that he never signed a form and was never near the bank. Vala alleged that a family member, who ended up getting the biggest chunk of the money, colluded with the bank employee to get the money.
The bank has been enjoying a fair share of negative media coverage recently for various scandals including clients complaining of being hit by unauthorised debit orders and very high overcharges.
Eastern Cape provincial police spokeswoman Brigadier Marinda Mills confirmed that a case of fraud was under investigation.
“I can confirm that a case of fraud was opened during October 2016 and is being investigated by the Cambridge detectives. The case relates to the distribution of the estate of the late Peter Soli, then a member of the service. The complainant [ son to the deceased] alleges that he never signed a form relating to this [estate].”