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Standard Bank steps up fraud controls as losses to fines mount

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Sim Tshabalala
Sim Tshabalala

Johannesburg - Standard Bank said it is bolstering internal controls after shareholders criticised managers and executives at Africa’s biggest bank by assets for a series of fines and losses tied to fraud.

The company plans to add to its 400 compliance officers after hiring about 300 employees to the division over the past year, CEO Sim Tshabalala and director Richard Dunne told shareholders at an annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Thursday. Standard Bank has also trained staff on how to spot “red flags” related to bribery and employed an external expert, general counsel Ian Sinton said.

Standard Bank has been fined more than R776.6m over the past two years, which includes penalties in the UK and  South Africa for not having adequate anti-money laundering policies in place. Last year, the lender agreed to a R573.2m settlement after Tanzanian employees bribed government officials. Last week, the company said it lost as much as R300m to organised fraud in Japan.

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