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Wema Bank loses ₦685m to fraud, forgery in 2023, records 196% increase in PBT



Wema Bank, a Nigerian tier-2 bank that holds ₦1.8 trillion in customers’ deposits has suffered a loss of ₦685 million to fraud and forgery cases in 2023, bringing to the fore the prevailing scale of fraud in Nigeria’s financial services sector.

This was contained in the Bank’s Full Year 2023 audited financial report submitted to the Nigerian Xchange.

According to the report, a total of N1.136bn was targeted by the fraudsters who succeeded in scheming off N685 million from the bank in 1,195 recorded cases.

A breakdown of the incidents showed that internet fraudsters targeted N203,724,720, while N8,148,920 was targeted via Mobile Banking. Point of Sales (POS) accounted for
N36,071,630 ATM fraudsters went for N86,900,000. On the web fraudsters targeted N27,393,430 while Operations & Other fraud schemes accounted for N860,395,730 making a total of N1,136,603,420.

Asides these fraud concerns, Wema Bank recorded growth in 2023, tripling its profits from ₦11 billion in 2022 to ₦35 billion. The three-fold boost was partly as a result of a ₦13 billion FX revaluation gain.

READ ALSO:Wema Bank hosts Hackaholics Digital Summit

According to the report, the bank continued to record improved performance, as Gross Earnings grew by 72.2% from N131.08 billion in FY 2022 to N225.75 billion in FY 2023. Profit before Tax (PBT) increased by 195.6% to N43.59 billion from N14.75 billion in FY 2022, and Profit After Tax (PAT) increased by 220.42% to N35.93 billion from N11.21 billion reported in FY 2022.

The bank also grew its total deposits by 59.6% as of FY 2023 to N1,860.57 billion from N 1,165.93 billion reported in FY 2022.

Total Assets as of FY 2023 stood at N2,240.06billion, representing a 56.24% increase over the N1,433.70 billion recorded in the corresponding year of 2022 and placing Wema bank squarely above the N1 trillion mark..

Additionally, loans to customers rose by 53.6% to close FY 2023 at N801.10billion from the 521.43 billion recorded in 2022.

The bank also grew its digital income to ₦745 million and brought in a whopping ₦7.3 billion in fees on electronic products.

Speaking on the report, chairman of the board, Oluwayemisi Olorunshola said the bank achieved the results “despite a tough operating environment, adding, that “the global economic landscape was marred by difficult conditions during the year including inflationary pressures, geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions and wars.

“Closer to home, the Nigerian economy navigated its own set of challenges, with currency fluctuations, rising inflations and talent exodus impacting businesses and individuals alike”.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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