Microbank distances itself from Theft allegations

The chairman ofthe Nationwide Microbank has responded to an EMTV story onthe allegedtheft of more than 1.4 million kina by distancingthe bank fromthe illegal transactions made by a former bank worker.

The woman responsible for the transactions was terminated bythe bank in February afterthe allegations were highlighted.  Clark said:  “The Nationwide Microbank became aware that a lending officer at its Lae branch had been entering into private transactions with members ofthe public some of whom were not Nationwide Microbank clients.”

Bet allthe customers interviewed by EMTV’s Lae bureau,   said allthe deposits were made   insidethe Lae Beanch office – and on several occasions – inthe presence of at least one ther senior officer.

“We gave our money to this bank,” said one customer.  “The bank must take responsibility for the actions of its workers.”

Despite notices atthe bank disallowing customers from handing over cash to lending officers,the woman insisted on taking cash deposits as “loan security.”  Many ofthe customers – some of whom are illiterate – said she provided no paper work andthey were told to come back later when &ldquotheir accounts were opened.”

The incident has drawn political attention from a government encouraging small to medium enterprises and micro financing options for Papua New Guineas. 

The Bank has since trlied to assure all its clients saying  that  funds deposited intothe bank are 100 percent secure and thatthe  Microbank like all ther financial institutions are  regulated bythe Central  Bank.

The police fraud squad has been called in to investigate&nbspthe matter but so farthe woman has not yet been arrested.   It has promptedthe bank chairman to call onthe Police Commissioner, Kulunga,   to intervene and fast trackthe arrest ofthe woman in question.

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