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|Royal Bank remained stable until March 2004. People who had their funds locked up in Intermarket Bank withdrew huge sums of funds from Royal Bank while others were moving to foreign owned banks as the perception created by Central Bank was read by the market to mean that entrepreneurial bankers were fraudsters.|
Lets close this article with a few questions that an entrepreneur should consider. For instance, if Mzwimbi had expanded less aggressively, would Royal Bank have been safer from the regulators? How could Mzwimbi have protected Royal Bank from political and regulatory interference if he anticipated those risks?
2. Criminal misappropriation of property (Section 403 IPC).
Criminal misappropriation of property, presuppose the custody or control of funds or property, so subjected, with that of the person committing such frauds. Preventive measures, for this class of fraud should be taken at the level the custody or control of the funds or property of the bank generally vests.
Even the annual financial statements of the bank acknowledge that they accessed loans as part of their employment contract with the bank.
b) money was owed to Finsreal Asset Management. However Mzwimbi argues that Finsreal actually owes them money and not the other way round. Royal Bank shareholders needed to inject money for recapitalisation of the bank and were requested to deposit their funds with Finsreal Asset Management.
The Indian Banking Industry has undergone tremendous growth since nationalization of 14 banks in the year 1969. There has an almost eight times increase in the bank branches from about 8000 during 1969 to mote than 60,000 belonging to 289 commercial banks, of which 66 banks are in private sector.
SECURITY REGIME IN BANKING SYSTEM
Security implies sense of safety and of freedom from danger or anxiety. When a banker takes a collateral security, say in the form of gold or a title deed, against the money lent by him, he has a sense of safety and of freedom from anxiety about the possible non-payment of the loan by the borrower.
These should be communicated to all strata of the organization through appropriate means. Before staff managers should analyze current practices. Security procedure should be stated explicitly and agreed upon by each user in the specific environment. Such practices ensure information security and enhance availability.
Bank security is essentially a defense against unforced attacks by thieves, dacoits and burglars.
PHYSICAL SECURITY MEASURES-CONCEPT
A large part of banks security depends on social security measures. Physical security measures can be defined as those specific and special protective or defensive measures adopted to deter, detect, delay, defend and defeat or to perform any one or more of these functions against culpable acts, both covert and covert and acclamations natural events.
Where any cheque drawn by a person on an account maintained by him with a banker for payment of any amount of money to another person from out of that account for the discharge, in whole or in part, of any debt or other liability, is returned by the bank unpaid. either because of the amount of money standing to the credit of that account is insufficient to honour the cheque or that it exceeds the amount arranged to be paid from that account by an agreement made with that bank, such person shall be deemed to have committed an offence and shall, without prejudice.
5. Falsification of accounts (Section 477A)
Proper diligence is required while filling of forms and accounts. The accounts should be rechecked on daily basis.
6. Theft (Section 378, IPC)
Encashment of stolen' cheque can be prevented if the bank clearly specify the age, sex and two visible identify action marks on the body of the person traveler's cheques on the back of the cheque leaf. This will help the paying bank to easily identify the cheque holder.
Since some had not paid their portion of the recapitalisation by the due date, Royal Financial Holdings, which had an account with Finsreal, paid the money on behalf of the shareholders - who were then indebted to Royal Financial Holdings. Somehow the RBZ confused this transaction as the bank's funds and therefore accused the
The disaster that befell the bank did not completely wipe him out because of this prudent investment strategy.
Entrepreneurs learn from their experiences. Mzwimbi's vast experiences taught him critical lessons. His international banking experience enabled him to see the emerging trends as Barclays and Standard Chartered withdrew from country towns, creating a route for his entry strategy.
The recapitalisation would have scuppered these plans. Notably, other banks were given an extension to regularise their recapitalisation plans.
Shakeman Mugari reported that the central bank has in principle agreed to enter into a scheme of arrangement with Royal, Trust and Barbican banks which could see the final resolution of this issue. He argues that the central bank disregarded the value of securities that the banks had pledged to the central bank for the loans.A close study of any fraud in bank reveals many common basic features. There may have been negligence or dishonesty at some stage, on part of one or more of the bank employees. One of them may have colluded with the borrower. The bank official may have been putting up with the borrower's sharp practices for a personal gain. The proper care which was expected of the staff, as custodians of banks interest may not have been taken. The bank's rules and procedures laid down in the Manual instructions and the circulars may not have been observed or may have been deliberately ignored.
FRAUD PRONE AREAS IN DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS
The following are the potential fraud prone areas in Banking Sector. In addition to those areas I have also given kinds of fraud that are common in these areas.
Savings Bank Accounts
The following are some of the examples being played in respect of savings bank accounts:
(a) Cheques bearing the forged signatures of depositors may be presented and paid.
The protective or defensive, measures adopted involve construction, installation and deployment of structures, equipment and persons respectively.
The following are few guidelines to check malpractices:
1. To rotate the cash work within the staff.
2. One person should not continue on the same seat for more than two months.
3. Daybook should not be written by the Cashier where an other person is available to the job
RECENT TRENDS OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA
In the banking and financial sectors, the introduction of electronic technology for transactions, settlement of accounts, book-keeping and all other related functions is now an imperative. Increasingly, whether we like it or not, all banking transactions are going to be electronic.
The thrust is on commercially important centers, which account for 65 percent of banking business in terms of value. There are now a large number of fully computerized branches across the country.
Although Mzwimbi was an excellent leader he needed a strong and powerful manager to consolidate the gains and create solid systems to sustain the rapid growth. Leaders thrive on change while managers thrive on handling complexity and creating order.
Business is built on relationships as these help in the scanning of the operating environment e.g. critical information about opportunities and threats was obtained from close relationships
The regulators also allege that the balance sheet of Royal Bank had a deficit of $140 billion, which the bankers dispute. If one were to consider the disputed $23 billion for statutory reserves and the $20 billion as accommodation from the clearing house, this would amount to $77 billion with interests.
(e) Section 28. "Counterfeit"
A person is said to "counterfeit" who causes one thing to resemble another thing, intending by means of that resemblance to practice deception, or knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practiced.
BREACH OF TRUST
1. Section 408- Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant.
2. Section 409- Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent.
When an Instrument is obtained by unlawful means or for unlawful consideration no possessor or indorse who claims through the person who found or so obtained the instrument is entitled to receive the amount due thereon from such maker, acceptor or holder, or from any party prior to such holder, unless such possessor or indorse is, or some person through whom he claims was, a holder thereof in due course.
This banker credits Royal Bank's resistance to being manipulated as the reason why his own bank survived. The bank was placed under curatorship on 4th August 2004. Mzwimbi had secured potential investors for the recapitalisation of the bank just before the deadline of 30th September 2004.
Three days before that deadline, Mzwimbi met the curator and explained in detail the position for the recapitalisation exercise. Investors who had shown interest and were in advanced negotiations were OPEC, Fidelity Insurance and some South African investors. He further asked the curator to request the Central Bank for an extension of about a week.
When FML was demutualising, the executives were concerned about the possibility of being swallowed by its huge strategic partner, Trust Holdings. FML approached Royal Bank and other banks to act as buffers. The agreement was that FML would fund the deal by placing funds with Royal Bank so that Royal would not fund it from its balance sheet.
Royal bank directors claimed political interference on the issue. The Royal Bank executives believe that the governor, against his better judgment, decided to act against Royal Bank under the pretext of the political pressure. In retrospect, the political support for cracking the whip at Royal gave credence to the rumour that the governor had an underlying agenda in taking Royal and merging it into ZABG because of its strong branch network.Bankers believed that once a substantive governor was sworn in he would control the interest rates. Much to their dismay, on assuming the governorship Dr. Gono left the rates untamed and hence the situation worsened. This scenario continued up to August 2004, causing considerable strain on entrepreneurial bankers.
The RBZ also alleged that Mzwimbi and Durajadi withheld information from their CVs on application for the bank licence and hence questioned their integrity. They claimed that Mzwimbi withheld information on his involvement with a failed bank, UMB. But the business plan for Royal Bank which was filed with RBZ clearly states this involvement.
Cheque payable to order.
1. By this section, bankers are placed in privileged position. It provides that if an order cheque is indorsed by or on behalf of the payee, and the banker on whom it is drawn pays it in due course, the banker is discharged. He can debit his customer with the amount so paid, though the endorsement of the payee might turn out to be a forgery.
2. The active concealment of a fact by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;
3. A promise made with out any intention of performing it;
4. Any other act fitted to deceive;
5. Any such act or omission as the law specially declares to be fraudulent.
Provided that whoever acquires, possesses or transfers any proceeds of financial fraud or enters into any transaction which is related to proceeds of fraud either directly or indirectly or conceals or aids in the concealment of the proceeds of financial fraud, commits financial fraud.
a) a conflict of interest on loans that were made available to the directors. The RBZ alleges that they did not disclose their interests when companies controlled by them accessed loans at concessionary rates from the bank. However the enterprising bankers dispute these charges, as they claim the Board minutes prove that this interest was disclosed.
On investigations the deal was found to be clean but the RBZ went ahead to publish that he was involved in illegal foreign currency transactions and linked this to Royal Bank. However this was a transaction done by a shareholder as an account holder, in which the bank had no interest.
What confused matters, was that Victory Financial Services was housed in the same building as Royal Bank.
(c) Gaining wrongfully.
Losing wrongfully-A person is said to gain wrongfully when such person retains wrongfully, as well as when such person acquires wrongfully. A person is said to lose wrongfully when such person is wrongfully kept out of any property, as well as when such person is wrongfully deprived of property.
It is reported that they have not given up on their dream. They have set up Royal Financial Services in Kenya, despite the challenges in Zimbabwe. Indeed a sign of perseverance. Press reports indicated that they are in negotiations with Trust Bank so that once they win their case they can merge and continue their operations in Zimbabwe.
The RBZ contends that the Board of Royal Bank failed to comply with a directive to recapitalise by 29th July 2004. Royal Bank executives and Board state categorically that they never received this directive. Mzwimbi and his team argue that this is misinformation, as all banks were required to have recapitalised by 30th September 2004.
1. Laxity in observance of the laid down system and procedures by operational and supervising staff.
2. Over confidence reposed in the clients who indulged in breach of trust.
3. Unscrupulous clients by taking advantages of the laxity in observance of established, time tested safeguards also committed frauds.
In order to have uniformity in reporting cases of frauds, RBI considered the question of classification of bank frauds on the basis of the provisions of the IPC.
Common modus operandi are, pledging of spurious goods, inletting the value of goods, hypothecating goods to more than one bank, fraudulent removal of goods with the knowledge and connivance of in negligence of bank staff, pledging of goods belonging to a third party.
Goods hypothecated to a bank are found to contain obsolete stocks packed in between goods stocks and case of shortage in weight is not uncommon.
Royal Bank turned down the offer and used deposits to pay off the money. However the interest rates did not come down.
During the first quarter of 2004 Trust Bank, Barbican bank and Intermarket Bank were identified as distressed and put under severe corrective orders by the Central Bank.
Thus it can be concluded that following measures should necessarily be adopted by the Ministry of Finance in order to reduce cases of Fraud.
o There must be a Special Court to try financial fraud cases of serious nature.
o The law should provide separate structural and recovery procedure. Every bank must have a domestic enquiry officer to enquire about the civil dimension of fraud.An example at Royal Bank was an entrepreneur who borrowed $120 million in December 2003, which by March 2004 had ballooned to $500 million due to the excessive rates. Although the cost of funds was now at 900% p.a., Royal Bank had just increased its interest rates to only 400% p.a, meaning that it was funding the client's shortfall.
The entrepreneurial journey is fraught with risk but can be very rewarding. Some lessons that can be learned from the case study are as follows:
Entrepreneurs take calculated risk. Mzwimbi did not use all his resources in the bank but left his shareholding in Econet intact. He also sought to diversify his wealth by keeping some investments with FML and Screen Litho. This has been the mainstay of his wealth creation strategy.
(d) Fraudulent alteration of the amount of the cheques and getting it paid either at the counter or though another bank.
Frauds In Case Of Advances
Following types may be committed in respect of advances:
(a) Spurious gold ornaments may be pledged.
(b) Sub-standard goods may be pledged with the bank or their value may be shown at inflated figures.
(c) Same goods may be hypothecated in favour of different banks.
o Amendments to the IPC by including a new chapter on financial fraud;
o Amendments to the Evidence Act to shift the burden of proof on the accused person;
o Special provision in the Cr. PC for properties involved in the Financial Fraud.
o Confiscating unlawful gains; and preventive measures including the development of Best Code Procedures by banks and financial institutions.
In January 2007 the former executive directors of Royal Bank were acquitted by the High Court on the remaining criminal charges after the prosecution failed to present a convincing argument.
Royal Bank assets were sold by the curator to ZABG barely two months after being placed under the curator, without any audited financial statements. The speed at which an agreement of sale was reached is astonishing. The owners of Royal Bank went to court and, after a protracted legal struggle, the court ruled that the assets were sold illegally and hence the sale was "illegal and of no force or effect and therefore null and void".
Negotiations with OPEC were underway for it to take over Chando's shareholding. The Reserve Bank was aware of these developments. OPEC would then help in the recapitalisation as well as open up lines of credit for the bank.
He later acquired Barnfords Securities which Royal intended to bring in-house.
Victory Financial Services was involved in foreign currency dealings, using offshore companies that bought free funds from Zimbabweans abroad and purchased raw materials for Zimbabwean corporations. One such deal with National Foods went sour and the MD reported it to the Central Bank.
If Mzwimbi had selected to pursue his enterprise ideas in a country with a more dependable political and regulatory environment, how would he have performed? Would it have been wiser to keep the equipment, real estate and other assets in Royal Financial Holdings or other corporate entity and only lease them to the bank?
However with the undervaluing of the assets and the $160 billion which was written off as uncollectible, there would be no negative balance sheet. The contention of the Royal Executives is that the curator, at the behest of the Reserve Bank, deliberately tampered with the accounts to provide a reason for the take-over.
2. Bank documents should not be typed on a typewriter for execution. These should be invariably handwritten for execution.
3. The execution should always be done in the presence of the officer responsible for obtain them,
4. The borrowers should be asked to sign in full signatures in same style throughout the documents.
5. Unless there is a specific requirement in the document, it should not be got attested or witnessed as such attestation may change the character of the instruments and the documents may subject to ad volrem stamp duty.
shareholders of using depositors' funds to recapitalise.
By retrospectively analysing the court case wherein the Royal Bank executive directors are accused of defrauding the bank it appears that the RBZ created a falsehood in order to frustrate the bankers. The curator who initially refused to take a stand before the RBZ appointed Independent Appeal, has in court clearly testified that no monies were stolen from the bank by the directors and that the curator did not (contrary to RBZ assertions) recommend charges against the bankers.
Following are the relevant sections relating to Bank Frauds
Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)
(a) Section 23 "Wrongful gain".-
"Wrongful gain" is gain by unlawful means of property to which the person gaining is not legally entitled.
(b) "Wrongful loss"
"Wrongful loss" is the loss by unlawful means of property to which the person losing it is legally entitled.
(b) Specimen signatures of the depositors may be changed, particularly after the death of depositors,
(c) Dormant accounts may be operated by dishonest persons with or without collusion of bank employees, and
(d) Unauthorized withdrawals from customer's accounts by employee of the bank maintaining the savings ledger and later destruction of the recent vouchers by them.They have moved from the character based lending to ideology based lending to today competitiveness based lending in the context of India's economic liberalization policies and the process of linking with the global economy.
The panel advised that the appeal by Royal bank be rejected as it would be difficult to disentangle it from ZABG. They also cited the fact that ZABG had some contractual obligations with third parties who may not want to do business with Royal bank. This strange ruling fails to explain why these considerations were not made when the amalgamation was done.
The press raised concerns about the curators assuming the role of undertaker rather than nurse, and hence burying these banks.This seemed to confirm the possibility of a hidden agenda on the part of the Central Bank.
Chando was an excellent financial engineer who set up Victory Financial Services after a stint with MBCA. He had been the brains behind the setting up of the predecessor of Century Discount House which he later sold to Century Holdings. Royal Bank initially had an interest in discount houses and so at inception had included Victor as a significant shareholder.
Yet the curator valued this investment negatively. Around March 2004 there had been a contagion effect at FML due to the challenges at Trust Bank. This resulted in the forced departure of the FML CEO and chairman. FML was suspended from the local bourse as investigations into the financing structure of Capital Alliance's acquisition were carried out.
The ruling also redefined the agreements between the curator of Royal bank and ZABG as not being an "agreement of sale" even though the parties which entered into the agreement clearly intended it to be viewed as such. This was a way of circumventing the Supreme Court ruling that the agreement of sale was null and void.
Retrospectively they claim that there is evidence indicating that the current governor though not appointed yet was already in control of the RBZ operations during that time period and was thus responsible for the untenable interest rate regime.
In January 2004, after his vacation, Mzwimbi was informed by the RBZ that Royal had been accommodated for $2 billion on the 28th of December 2003. The Central Bank wanted to know whether this accommodation should be formalised and placed into the newly created Troubled Bank Fund.
These entrepreneurs choose not to be victims of the environment.
Assault on Entrepreneurs' Character
The information asymmetry whereby the Central Bank played its case in the public press while the accused bankers had no right of response created a false impression, in the minds of the populace, of entrepreneurs being greedy and unscrupulous.
His work with Econet taught him perseverance as he and his colleagues fought legal battles with government for the award of the licence. Little did he know that this was just training ground for the battle of his life - the battle for Royal Bank.
Entrepreneurs need to continuously scan the environment for threats and opportunities. Whereas Mzwimbi and his team were good at noticing the emerging positive trends in the environment at inception, they failed to pick the changes in the regulatory environment when the new governor came on board.
Theft from lockers and safe deposit vaults are not easy to commit because the master-key remains with the banker and the individual key of the locker is handed over to the costumer with due acknowledgement.
7. Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 A, IPC)
In the case of State of Andhra Pradesh v. IBS Prasad Rao and Other, the accused, who were clerks in a cooperative Central Bank were all convicted of the offences of cheating under Section 420 read along with Section 120 A. all the four accused had conspired together to defraud the bank by making false demand drafts and receipt vouchers.
A switchover from cash-based transactions to paper-based transactions is being accelerated. Magnetic Ink character recognition clearing of cheques is now operational in many cities, beside the four metro cities. In India, the design, management and regulation of electronically-based payments system are becoming the focus of policy deliberations.
The imperatives of developing an effective, efficient and speedy payment and settlement systems are getting sharper with introduction of new instruments such as credit cards, telebanking, ATMs, retail Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Electronic Clearing Services (ECS).
Section 141(1) Offences by companies.
If the person committing an offence under Section 138 is a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
o A fraud involving an amount of ten crore of rupees and above may be considered serious and be tried in the Special Court.
The Twenty-ninth Report of the Law Commission had dealt some categories of crimes one of which is "offences calculated to prevent and obstruct the economic development of the country and endanger its economic health." Offences relating to Banking Fraud will fall under this category.The Offshore Bank Liquidator - This is generally a person with an accounting, legal or banking background. They can understand the books of the offshore bank and the laws pertaining to the offshore bank and the liquidation. If the offshore bank had secured loans that went bad (payments not be made according to written loan documents) they will analyze the worth of going after the collateral.
8. Offences relating to currency notes and banks notes (Section 489 A-489E, IPC)
These sections provide for the protection of currency-notes and bank notes from forgery. The offences under section are:
(a) Counterfeiting currency notes or banks.
(b) Selling, buying or using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes. Knowing the same to be forged or counterfeit.
The borrower may file bankruptcy making the liquidation of the secured assets difficult and time consuming in some countries. The bankruptcy court might let the borrower continue making payments and keep the asset which can make for a rather problematic liquidation because now the loan must be sold to reduce it to a net value.
Generally such a loan is going to go for a deep discount at best. The liquidator may have to sell the banks real estate, computers, office equipment and furniture, cars, boats, planes etc. All this is time consuming and the assets should be sold at an auction to keep things fair avoiding accusations of selling under the market for kickbacks.
When you read the offshore bank liquidation horror stories you see that the money trail goes from country to country, bank to bank and then it ends up with a large cash withdrawal which is usually the end of the trail. The offshore jurisdiction may fail to ever prosecute them or file charges which of course make one wonder what was going on. So the key here is to get involved actively.
Panama has a treaty with the USA calling for the USA to protect the Panama Canal if it was threatened. This means the peace and security of the Republic of Panama is protected by the USA which could have jet fighters there in minutes. Panama is the new Switzerland of the world.
Banking industry in India has traversed a long way to assume its present stature. It has undergone a major structural transformation after the nationalization of 14 major commercial banks in 1969 and 6 more on 15 April 1980. The Indian banking system is unique and perhaps has no parallels in the banking history of any country in the world.
These assets would be the actual cash deposits. This is an encouraging sign to the creditors. Money would usually be held back to allow the liquidation to proceed further allowing for legal expenses etc. Then as real estate and other assets are sold further distributions would be made.
Not all liquidations are done so directly.
The Ugly Side of Offshore Bank Liquidations - Sometimes the offshore bank assets are deposited by the liquidator in another bank. Whether or not this is in an interest bearing account is always a good question. If there is $12,000,000 in cash in a bank the interest at 4% a year is a serious amount of money that will tempt people.
The court then directed that the owners should appeal to the Central Bank for a determination of the actions of the curators. The Central Bank begrudgingly set up an "independent panel" to adjudicate the case. Strangely ZABG continued to trade on the illegal assets.
513(a) - Punishment for Financial Fraud
Whoever commits financial fraud shall be: (a) Punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term, which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
(b)Whoever commits serious financial fraud shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years but shall not be less than five years and shall also be liable for fine up to double the amount involved in such fraud.
These are only reported figures. Though, this is 0.075% of Rs 8,96,696 crores of total deposits and 0.15% of Rs 4,44,125 crores of loans & advances, there are any numbers of cases that are not reported. There were nearly 65,800 bank branches of a total of 295 commercial banks in India as on June 30, 2001 reporting a total of nearly 3,072 bank fraud cases.
Mzwimbi and his colleagues refused to give up under challenging situations. Despite intimidation they took the Central Bank to court and refused to budge until justice was done. They were presented with numerous opportunities to quit the country but would not.
1. All relevant data-papers, documents etc. Should be promptly collected. Original vouchers or other papers forming the basis of the investigation should be kept under lock and key.
2. All persons in the bank who may be knowing something about the time, place a modus operandi of the fraud should be examined and their statements should be recorded.
3. The probable order of events should thereafter be reconstructed by the officer, in his own mind.The relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Contract Act, and Negotiable Instruments Act relating to banking frauds has been cited in the present Article.
EVOLUTION OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA
Banking system occupies an important place in a nation's economy. A banking institution is indispensable in a modern society. It plays a pivotal role in economic development of a country and forms the core of the money market in an advanced country.
Some bank liquidations have taken place without creditor committees in place. These are generally less than above board liquidations.
Creditor Claims in Offshore Bank Liquidations - When the liquidator is in office the depositors are generally required to file claims. The claims process involves filing identity documents with the liquidator and identifying your account and how much money was in it.
Consequently FML would leave the deposits with Royal Bank for the tenor of the loan. The deal was consummated through Regal Asset Managers and was to mature in December 2004, at which time it was anticipated that the share price of First Mutual would have blossomed, allowing Royal Bank to harvest its investment and exit profitably.
This was a clear case of deliberate misinformation as the Central Bank was aware of the truth. Royal Bank had included the purchase of the Bulawayo Barclays Bank branch building which Barclays Bank would lease a portion of from Royal Bank. When Royal Bank fell short at the Interbank Clearing House, it renegotiated with Barclays.
When this demand is not met the law firm will file a formal complaint to the offshore bank licensing authority who will generally conduct an investigation. They may have their own auditors or hire an independent team of auditors to go through the offshore bank records.
They will look to see if there are any loans on the books that do not meet the guidelines for lending such as writing uncollateralized loans is usually considered an offense. Loans to the principals of the bank are another red flag. Real estate acquisitions like mansions on the island where the offshore bank is located for the bank executives to live in is another red flag as well.
In that scenario would the predators have been able to pounce on the bank?
Sources: I Dr Tawafadza A. Makoni confirm being the author of this work. The material for this case study was drawn from my interviews with Mr J Mzwimbi CEO of Royal Bank in February 2006 and two Royal Bank Board Members. Some material was drawn from an unpublished Royal Bank Strategic Business Plan, (2000)
In September 2004 the executive directors of Royal Bank, Mzwimbi and Durajadi, were arrested on five allegations of fraudulently prejudicing the bank. One of the charges was that they fraudulently used depositors' funds to recapitalise the bank.
Three of the charges after police investigations were dropped, as they were not true. The two remaining charges were:
There exists a new kind of threat in cyber world. Writers are referring it as "Salami Attack" under this a special software is used for transferring the amount from the account of the individual. Hence the culprits of such crimes should be found quickly and should be given strict punishment.
Moreover there is requirement of more number of IT professionals who will help in finding a solution against all these security threats.
The way the depositors are playing their hand is get the court to hold my money before the bank goes down completely and then my funds get mixed in with all the depositors in the fracas. If one files such a lawsuit they are generally excluded from filing claims as regular creditors (depositors) of the bank in the event of a liquidation and if they lose their lawsuit (an expected occurrence if based on fraud or deceit) they can lose all.
Loss of Correspondent Bank - Sometimes the offshore bank has just lost one or more of its correspondent banks and can not execute wire transfers until it replaces the correspondent with another correspondent bank which may take several weeks. When the complaints hit the government they will investigate, see that the funds are in place and allow the offshore bank a reasonable period of time to secure another correspondent bank, checking with them for progress reports.
This makes nearly 10.4 frauds per bank and roughly 0.47 frauds per branch.
An Expert Committee on Bank Frauds (Chairman: Dr.N.L.Mitra) submitted its Report to RBI in September 2001. The Committee examined and suggested both the preventive and curative aspects of bank frauds.
The important recommendations of the Committee include:
o A need for including financial fraud as a criminal offence;
If these are factored in, then the bank shareholders have some significant value within ZABG. If this scheme had been consummated it would have protected RBZ officials from being sued in their personal capacity for the loss of value to shareholders. From the article it appears like a memorandum of agreement had been signed to effect a reduction of Allied Financial Services' share in ZABG while the former banks' shareholders will take up their share in proportion to the value of their assets.The bank therefore has to ensure at all times that the money of the depositors is not drawn fraudulently. Time has come when the security aspects of the banks have to be dealt with on priority basis.
The banking system in our country has been taking care of all segments of our socio-economic set up. The Article contains a discussion on the rise of banking frauds and various methods that can be used to avoid such frauds. A bank fraud is a deliberate act of omission or commission by any person carried out in the course of banking transactions or in the books of accounts, resulting in wrongful gain to any person for a temporary period or otherwise, with or without any monetary loss to the bank.
Many of the Panama banks own office building skyscrapers 40+ stories tall with their name on the building. These are not grocery store sized banks found in the island jurisdictions. The Panama Stock Exchange has an average trading volume of $900,000,000.
Panama is free of hurricanes, volcanoes, tornadoes, and earthquakes which is why the Panama Canal was built there. Panama uses the US dollar as their national currency. Panama has modern telephones, cell phones and internet being a country having been built by the Americans which left Panama in 2000.
The government knows that the people behind these lawsuits are trying to get more money than they would if they just waited for the liquidation to proceed and are not amused by their litigious behavior.
The Offshore Bank Liquidation Process - So now the bank is in liquidation. What does this mean? Basically a liquidator will be appointed to determine what assets the bank has, liquidate what can be profitably liquidated and then see how much money is left. The remaining money will be divided up amongst the depositors fairly depending on how much they had on deposit in the offshore bank.
A bank can be in an offshore jurisdiction and not have an offshore banking license, instead be a regularly licensed bank. Offshore bank licenses can be had in some jurisdictions with as little as a $50,000 deposit with the country issuing the license. Usually this amount is never more than $500,000 and many countries require less.
Royal Bank had been warned by friendly RBZ insiders that if it ever accessed the Troubled Bank Fund it would be in trouble, so it sought to avoid this at all costs.
However on 4th August 2004, Royal was served with papers that effectively placed it under the curator. Interestingly, the curator's contract was signed two days earlier. Until this time no depositor had ever failed to withdraw his deposits from Royal Bank.
The most important feature of such offences is that ordinarily they do not involve an individual direct victim. They are punishable because they harm the whole society. It is clear that money involved in Bank belongs to public. They deposit there whole life' security in Banks and in case of Dacoity or Robbery in banks the public will be al lost.
Thus it is important that sufficient efforts should be taken in this regard.
6. The paper on which the bank documents are made should be pilfer proof. It should be unique and available to the banks only.
7. The printing of the bank documents should have highly artistic intricate and complex graphics.
8. The documents executed between Banker and Borrowers must be kept in safe custody,
CHANGES IN LEGISLATIONS AFTER ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS
If there was a farm in Argentina posted as collateral for a three million dollar loan he may order an appraisal of the farm to see if it really worth that much. If the value of the farm is more than the legal expense of securing and liquidating the asset the liquidator should go ahead and liquidate it.
This process may take a year or longer. If a loan was made to a trucking company in Belgium for a fleet of trucks the same liquidation process may occur. This sort of liquidation may take even two or three years depending on what type of liquidation processes may need to be followed.
In the event the ratios return to an acceptable level the bank operation resumes normally and the depositors may not even know anything occurred.
Complaints - The way offshore bank failures generally start is with complaints to the licensing authority of the country where the bank is located stating that requests to withdraw funds are not being met by the bank. To document this the account holder generally retains legal counsel in the country where the offshore bank is located and files a formal demand for the funds to bank with a very short deadline.
On reflection, some bankers feel that the central bank deliberately hiked the interest rates, as this would allow it to restructure the financial services sector. They argue that during the cash crisis of the last half of 2003, bank CEOs would meet often with the RBZ in an effort to find solutions to the crisis.
7) Section 470- Forged document.
8) Section 471- Using as genuine a forged document
9) Section 477- Fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc., of will, authority to adopt, or valuable security.
10) Section 477A- Falsification of accounts.
THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA ACT, 1934
Issue of demand bills and notes Section 31.
Provides that only Bank and except provided by Central Government shall be authorized to draw, accept, make or issue any bill of exchange, hundi, promissory note or engagement for the payment of money payable to bearer on demand, or borrow, owe or take up any sum or sums of money on the bills, hundis or notes payable to bearer on demand of any such personIndian's banking system has several outstanding achievements to its credit, the most striking of which is its reach. In fact, Indian banks are now spread out into the remotest areas of our country. Indian banking, which was operating in a highly comfortable and protected environment till the beginning of 1990s, has been pushed into the choppy waters of intense competition.
1. Section 91 of IPC shall be amended to include electronic documents also.
2. Section 92 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 shall be amended to include commuter based communications
3. Section 93 of Bankers Book Evidence Act, 1891 has been amended to give legal sanctity for books of account maintained in the electronic form by the banks.
4. Section 94 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1939 shall be amended to facilitate electronic fund transfers between the financial institutions and the banks. A new clause (pp) has been inserted in Section 58(2).
Given below are the Provisions and their Remedial measures that can be taken.
1. Cheating (Section 415, IPC)
The preventive measures in respect of the cheating can be concentrated on cross-checking regarding identity, genuineness, verification of particulars, etc. in respect of various instruments as well as persons involved in encashment or dealing with the property of the bank.
3. Section 416- Cheating by personating
4. Section 419- Punishment for cheating by personation.
OFFENCES RELATING TO DOCMENTS
1) Section 463-Forgery
2) Section 464 -Making a false document
3) Section 465- Punishment for forgery.
4) Section 467- Forgery of valuable security, will, etc
5) Section 468- Forgery for purpose of cheating
6) Section 469- Forgery for purpose of harming reputation
The idea may not occur to a lot of these lawyers so help them out a bit. If you can get a creditors committee in place and have it appoint a liquidator you will probably have a honest liquidation, probably. That having been said one must still leave room for the offshore bank itself having been intrinsically dishonest and the bank owners have since ran away with the funds.
What was needed was for commercial banks to have their balance sheets 'cleaned up', perhaps by the government purchasing their bad loans with long-term bonds. Adopting Western accounting procedures might also benefit the new commercial banks.
You may be only able to take out say 25% of your funds. What can often happen is the depositors lose faith and take as much money out as they can and avoid putting in any more money. This usually results in the offshore bank failing totally and being shut down.
Suing the Offshore Bank - What often happens in these offshore bank receivership scenarios is some depositors get scared and act jumpy and sue the bank. The lawsuits generally involve having the court encumber or tie up an amount equal to their deposit. To accomplish this the depositors generally have to resort to deceit or twisting the truth minimally, to make the court think they were not ordinary depositors or the amount in question consisted of funds to be handled in a special exceptional manner.
This was a normal procedure and practice of the Central Bank, which had been made available to other banking institutions as well. This would also enhance the bank's liquidity position.
Even investors are sometimes offered tax exemptions to encourage and promote investments in any industry. This exemption was delayed due to bungling in the Banking Supervision and Surveillance Department of the RBZ and was thus only implemented a year later, consequently it would run from May 2003 until May 2004.
Under the said act the term Financial Fraud has been defined as under:
Section 512 - Financial Fraud
Financial frauds means and includes any of the following acts committed by a person or with his connivance, or by his agent, in his dealings with any bank or financial institution or any other entity holding public funds;
1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true;
Therefore you can still open a foreign bank account with an offshore bank without having to leave your country, but it may come with a little more effort, and sometimes the struggle involved in communicating with someone overseas.
The Advantages of Offshore Internet Banking
Here are some advantages of offshore internet banking that you should know about.
Panama has anonymous foundations which are able to have generally non-freezable bank accounts. Panama has no tax treaties with any country so fishing expeditions are not going to happen. Panama has the tightest bank secrecy laws in the world and when coupled with an anonymous bearer share corporation it becomes the most secure and private structure one could have in the world today.
Entrepreneurial strategy emerges and therefore entrepreneurs should be flexible. Although Royal Bank had a plan to grow at a steady pace, when the opportunity arose to acquire other branches cheaply the entrepreneurs seized the opportunity.
Entrepreneurs are faced with credibility challenges as customers, regulators and suppliers test the credibility of newcomers. Royal Bank minimised this by recruiting experienced and well known personnel in the market. However the lack of institutional shareholders led to credibility gaps with some corporate clients.TCS is the third company to have meaningful investment in government securities after Reliance Industries and construction firm Larsen & Toubro, which traders say is diversifying a $665 billion market dominated by banks and could portend a new investment trend for the country's conglomerates.
But other fixes that would soften financial crises, such as EU-wide deposit insurance or a centralized fiscal pot, remain only on the drawing board.
Before others join, "the eurozone will have to completely recover and banking union will have to show full implementation," said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.
When that happens, Poland could be the most likely addition.
4. Forgery (Section 463, IPC)
Both the prevention and detection of frauds through forgery are important for a bank. Forgery of signatures is the most frequent fraud in banking business. The bank should take special care when the instrument has been presented either bearer or order; in case a bank pays forged instrument he would be liable for the loss to the genuine costumer.
Third, if you were to open the email and click on any link in it for whatever reason, once the link takes you to a website where you are required to enter personal information, look for security symbols such as an https URL address or a padlock on the lower right hand side corner of the web browser.
Indian companies could become bigger players in the government securities market as they confront the problem of what to do with growing cash stockpiles.
The country's top six cash-rich companies have amassed around 1.7 trillion rupees ($25.5 billion) worth of cash holdings, according to Reuters calculations, at a time when private capital spending is weak and bad loans are on the rise.
Governments in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and elsewhere are paying lip service to the requirement to join. They committed to the euro simply by joining the EU in the first place.
But they are not moving toward the entrance door. Instead, they are waiting to see whether and how the currency zone sorts out the debt and economic problems that threatened it with collapse and saw Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus bailed out. In Poland, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said last year "we could join in 40 years," and there matters seem to remain.
Such a measure should be sufficient, it is extended to these persons who are actually handling or having actual custody or control of the fund or movable properties of the bank.
3. Criminal breach of trust (Section 405, IPC)
Care should be taken from the initial step when a person comes to the bank. Care needs to be taken at the time of recruitment in bank as well.
The very fact that this new amalgamated bank can operate for this long from insolvent banks' capital without recapitalising lends credence to the argument of the Royal Bank's owners.
The entrepreneurs contend that they were dealing with a Central Bank which was determined to see them sink and not to protect the integrity of the banking system. This environment was not conducive to survival and it amplified normal weaknesses which could have been resolved in the course of normal business.
Due diligence must be exercised before permitting users to place a link to another site to guard against the possibility of inadvertent download of malicious software, which could, in the worst case, even result in phishing originating from the banks' sites.
Many community organizations are eager to partner with good presenters to create an event that will benefit the audience, the presenters, and the event hosts.
Community colleges and local clubs are always looking for ideas for continuing education classes. So are all kinds of business conferences. (Keep in mind that well established conferences often finalize their speaker schedules more than a year in advance.) Even libraries and local retail businesses are often looking for ideas for events.
Royal Bank appealed. There were conflicting opinions between the Bank Supervision and Capital Markets divisions on the issue as Bank Supervision conceded to the validity of Royal's position. However Capital Markets insisted that it had instructions from the top to recall the full amount of $23 billion. This was forced onto Royal Bank and transferred without consent to the Troubled Banks Fund at exorbitant rates of 450% p.
1. There must be a representation and assertion;
2. It must relate to a fact;
3. It must be with the knowledge that it is false or without belief in its truth; and
4. It must induce another to act upon the assertion in question or to do or not to do certain act.
Losses sustained by banks as a result of frauds exceed the losses due to robbery, dacoity, burglary and theft-all put together. Unauthorized credit facilities are extended for illegal gratification such as case credit allowed against pledge of goods, hypothecation of goods against bills or against book debts.No one is lining up to join the 19-country currency, and the next memberships - if any - will only be years down the road, certainly not in this decade.
It marks a shift from a recent steady growth in membership, with seven countries joining in the past nine years, and reflects a sense that the euro is still patching the problems uncovered by the debt crisis that sank Greece's finances.
Das Gupta of Barclays said the narrower spread between bank deposits and 10-year bonds could be one reason companies buy "liquid and safe" government bonds.
"On a risk-adjusted basis, the total return from a sovereign security has been much better than any other asset class like fixed deposits, mutual funds," said Ashish Vaidya, executive director and head of trading at DBS Bank in Mumbai.
There are a few downsides as well, however.
New members must hand over control of interest rates to the ECB, and lose the possibility to devalue their currency, an important safety valve in an economic crisis and one that would have given Greece an alternative to some of the tough austerity cuts it had to impose under the bailouts.
Even top EU officials say the monetary union, launched with optimism in 1999, remains incomplete. Some weak points are being addressed. In particular, big banks are now supervised at the EU level - by the ECB in a so-called "banking union" - to prevent lenient national regulators from ignoring trouble.
LEGAL REGIME TO CONTROL BANK FRAUDS
Frauds constitute white-collar crime, committed by unscrupulous persons deftly advantage of loopholes existing in systems/procedures. The ideal situation is one there is no fraud, but taking ground realities of the nation's environment and human nature's fragility, an institution should always like to keep the overreach of frauds at the minimum occurrence level.
Most of the foreign-owned but mainly Hungarian-managed banks were recapitalized after their acquisition and they have spent heavily on staff training and new information technology systems. From 1998, foreign banks will be free to open branches in Hungary, thus opening up the domestic banking market to full competition.
Bank of America, Wachovia Bank and Commonwealth Credit Union have built a presence within interactive media to create awareness and keep up a dialogue with interested communities. They have employed a variety of methods, ranging from creating YouTube communities to launching campaigns on Current TV, a channel in which viewers determine content.
Remember we are talking about offshore banks here, not regularly licensed regular banks which are audited and watched way more closely by the government and usually by a different government agency than the agency supervising offshore banks. We as a Panama Law firm do not introduce clients to offshore banks which should tell you something.
Legal fees can be padded and kickbacks made to the liquidator from the law firm located on the island jurisdiction the offshore bank is in. Some of these islands where these offshore banks are have less than 100,000 people living in the country. You are foreigners and don't expect such honest treatment in these tourist island jurisdictions.
They may view these offshore bank liquidations as a feast for the locals courtesy of all the rich foreigners. Excessive travel can be run up by the liquidator. He can travel abroad going first class all the way even bringing the lawyers along, all on the clock.
These are phishing emails hoping for you to login and enter your personal information such as login and password.
TIPS: Here are a few tips to avoid falling for phishing scams. First, when you receive an email from your bank, call them to verify that they sent the email. Second, instead of opening the email they sent you, visit the bank's website directly and see if you can conduct what's asked of you on their site by you logging in directly rather than clicking a login link in an email message.
Deposit Timeline - Because many banks do not have the technology to be able to collect deposits remotely, you may have difficulty depositing all your proceeds. While many banks have developed electronic scanning technology, others have yet to catch up. There is no consistency to say the least.
Personalisation of Online Banking
Vanilla e-banking divides customers into very large, heterogeneous groups - typically, corporate, retail or SME, with one type of Internet banking page for each. That's in sharp contradiction to how banking organisations would like to view their clientele. Banks are moving towards customer-specificity, almost viewing each client as a "segment of one", across other channels, and online banking is set to follow suit.
The Reserve Bank of India has an important role to play in the maintenance of the exchange value of the rupee in view of the close interdependence of international trade and national economic growth and well being. This aspect is of the wider responsibly of the central bank for the maintenance of economic and financial stability.Bankers normally rely on treasury bills (TBs) since they are easily tradable. Their yield had been good until the interest rates skyrocketed. Consequently bankers were now borrowing at higher interest rates than the treasury bills could cover. Bankers were put in the uncomfortable position of borrowing expensive money and on-lending it cheaply.
On Demand Access to Statements - offshore internet banking gives you instant access to your statements where you can view your activities on a real time basis. This includes past and pending deposits and withdrawals. You can therefore access your account balance at anytime.
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THE NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1881
Holder's right to duplicate of lost bill Section 45A.
1. The finder of lost bill or note acquires no title to it. The title remains with the true owner. He is entitled to recover from the true owner.
2. If the finder obtains payment on a lost bill or note in due course, the payee may be able to get a valid discharge for it. But the true owner can recover the money due on the instrument as damages from the finder.
This was after Royal was threatened that if it did not clear this amount it would be placed into the Troubled Bank Fund - which carried severe penalties.
The result was that Barclays refunded the amount paying it directly to Royal's Central Bank account. The RBZ acknowledged receiving these funds. How can they now accuse the founding shareholders of siphoning the same funds which went directly to the RBZ account? Mzwimbi insists that Barclays can easily testify to this.
4. No cash withdrawal should be allowed within passbook in case of withdrawal by pay order.
5. The branch manager should ensure that all staff members have recorder their presence in the attendance registrar, before starting work.
Execution of Documents
1. A bank officer must adopt a strict professional approach in the execution of documents. The ink and the pen used for the execution must be maintained uniformly.
Develop websites? List and discuss all the elements people should consider when creating a website, and compare and contrast existing websites for their effectiveness. Are you an accountant? You might give a class on basic bookkeeping, or on how to set up a spreadsheet you keep track of expenses.
Are you in the catering business? Teach how to make a healthy vegetarian dish, or talk about how to use spices in recipes. Do you sell clothing and accessories? Give a class on choosing appropriate styles for all body shapes or 10 ways to tie a scarf, and the audience will come.
Qualitative information about the person's interaction with the bank's support staff (for example frequency and type of calls made to their call centre, outcome of such interaction and so on) may be invaluable in profiling the "right" type of customer who can be recruited as a possible advocate.
Money Monitor enables customers to add multiple "accounts" (from a choice of 9,000) to their page. Accounts could be savings or loan accounts with major Indian banks, or those with utilities providers, credit card companies, brokerage firms and even frequent flyer programs.
Users can customise their pages as described earlier.
As banks seek to develop their Internet banking vision for the future, in parallel, they will also need to address the key issues of security and "due defence". While it is every marketer's dream to have customers work as ambassadors, adequate precaution must be taken to prevent the proliferation of malicious or spurious publicity.
But the panel did not explain how this disposal of the assets should be considered if it was not a sale.
Consequently the major shareholders of Royal appealed to the Minister of Finance who upheld the RBZ decision. Mzwimbi and his colleagues have therefore appealed to the courts. In the meanwhile there was a failed attempt to sell the disputed assets by ZABG despite the outstanding legal challenge.
Offshore Bank Alternatives - The best alternative to these tax haven island offshore jurisdictions is Panama. Panama is a solid offshore tax haven jurisdiction that does not tax offshore derived income and has no capital gains tax or tax on stock market gains. Panama has fully anonymous bearer share corporations where the owners are not recorded in any registry or database.
There is an inherent conflict of interest in the liquidation process. The bank liquidator generally gets paid handsomely. Think perhaps $150 to $300 an hour or maybe $10,000 to $30,000 per month. It is in his best interest to keep things going for as long as possible. The lawyers the bank liquidator uses are also under this same conflict of interest.
How honest and upright these people are going to be is something for which there is no rule but there is generally a control element in the form of a creditors committee. In an honest liquidation the liquidator may elect to distribute the readily available assets the offshore bank has right away.This idea can make anyone who implements it a small fortune. It's a business idea that could not only end your recession money worries but also help others to end their worries as well. So don't sit back and watch whilst someone else puts it into action. Do it and begin today.
We've all seen community education classes. Writers' conferences are filled with presentations by authors and booksellers and editors. Home stores regularly hold classes on how to lay tile or paint an interior room. Medical conferences have lectures by researchers and pharmaceutical marketers.
Plant nurseries host workshops on creating Christmas wreaths or succulent bowls. Art supply stores and craft stores have classes on using various materials in artistic ways. You have probably received catalogs of community education classes from colleges or senior centers, or you might belong to a club that regularly hosts speakers.
How should you go about offering a workshop? You could always lease a space, hire caterers, and do all the advertising yourself, but that's usually not the best route to take, unless you are marketing to rich clientele who expect elegant presentations. Ideally, you want to offer a workshop at a venue that will help you advertise and present your class.
A description of any items the audience will take away from the class (handouts, a piece of jewelry created in class, etc.)
An explanation of why you are the perfect person to teach this class
If the list above has you staring at your word processing screen with trepidation, you should also know that help is available in the form of specialized packages like a proposal kit, which comes with all the topic templates you need to describe any presentation, as well as an extensive library of sample proposals you can study for inspiration. Whether you're writing your first proposal or planning to write dozens, a proposal kit is a good choice for anyone who wants to market and grow a business.
It is equally important for a bank to guard its customers against invasion of privacy, data theft or misuse. The concept of portalisation envisages deploying technology to bring information from other banks' or financial service providers' websites into the home bank's site.
So are new and prospective homeowners, new parents, and many other groups.
Don't be afraid to partner up with another complimentary business to offer a workshop, too. For example, a landscape designer might partner with a nursery owner to talk about how to create a perfect shade garden; a hairdresser could team up with a cosmetics expert to offer makeover tips; a personal trainer with a nutritionist to present a class on how to get in shape for summer.
While the operations of the bank have become increasingly significant banking frauds in banks are also increasing and fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated and ingenious. In a bid to keep pace with the changing times, the banking sector has diversified it business manifold.
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