Standard Bank Japan scam ‘well planned’ - Sabric

Johannesburg - A R300m card fraud hit on Standard Bank [JSE:SBK] in Japan is an incident of transnational organised crime that was well planned and executed, says a local banking risk body.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has reacted to Standard Bank's announcement about it having lost R300m in ATM fraud in Japan.

Standard Bank said the crime “involved the withdrawal of cash using a small number of fictitious cards at various ATMs in Japan”. The bank reported no financial losses for customers.

The Japan News website reported on Monday that more than 100 people using forged credit cards withdrew ¥1.44bn (about R200m) from 1 400  ATMs in Tokyo in under three hours.

READ: Standard Bank victim of R300m fraud in Japan

Police in Japan are still investigating the fraud, reported the website.

“From reports already released, it is evident that it is an incident of transnational organised crime that was well planned and executed,” said Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay in an emailed statement to Fin24.

“The South African banking industry will provide full support to both the bank and law enforcement where possible,” said Pillay.

Pillay further said “due to the sensitive nature of the investigation that is being conducted, it is understandable that the bank is not in a position to make any other information available at this stage”.

The fraud hit against Standard Bank has come about despite falling figures for local credit card fraud.

Sabric reported in December last year that credit card fraud in the country dropped 28.6% from R353.3m in 2014 to R252.2m in 2015.

Sabric said measures such as the continuous improvement of internal systems and roll-out of chip and PIN technologies have helped alleviate the crime.

Meanwhile, Standard Bank’s share price was down around 0.8% on Monday at 12:30 to R117.47 amid reports of the Japan fraud hit.

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