Nigerians Accuse Wema Bank of Opening Unsolicited Accounts, Bank Reacts

Nigerians Accuse Wema Bank of Opening Unsolicited Accounts, Bank Reacts

  • Nigeria's data protection agency said it is investigating Wema Bank over reports of unsolicited account opening
  • Also, the body said a gaming company is currently under investigation for data breaches and external attacks
  • Wema Bank, in a statement, said it has no idea if there is an unauthorised account opening in any of its branches, vowing to probe the allegation

Nigeria's data protection body, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) has said it is investigating Wema Bank and KC Gaming Networks, owners of BetNaija, for data breach and privacy violation.

Customers accused the bank of opening accounts without their request, consent and authorisation while KC Gaming is being investigated for external attacks on its data.

Wema Bank, BetNaija, Customers
Wema Bank under probe for data breach and violation Credit: Benjami Okpo
Source: UGC

According to Premium Times, the NDPD said the reason for the investigations was to determine the extent of the data breaches on the affected persons and the actions to be taken by the data controllers.

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The agency assured members of the public that it will make sure that it will protect their data, saying data processing against Wema Bank involves unsolicited use of personal data of individuals.

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Gaming company involved in data breaches

The Bureau said it is also probing a report of a data breach by BetNaija involving external attacks on KC Gaming Networks.

The probe against Wema Bank comes as customers protest messages they received showed accounts had been opened by the bank on their behalf without their consent.

Premium Times reports that a lawyer, Michael Ikoro had said he received three messages from the bank on March 21, 2022 without having an account with the bank.

The message, Ikoro said was an SMS with the number telling him of a successful account opening and asking him to change his pin.

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He said the bank proceeded to deposit the sum of N50 in the account without him stepping a foot in the bank.

On his birthday, March 31, 2022, Ikoro said he got an SMS wishing him a happy birthday.

According to Ikoro, he is keeping records of the emails. He later sent the bank a message on social media and got an auto-response instead.

He went to the bank’s regional office in Abuja where he submitted a letter to it protesting the account opening and the manager of the bank acknowledged that the bank did open an account in his name.

Unauthorised account opening

On Friday, June 4, 2022, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) asked Wema Bank to give details of the numerous allegations of unauthorised account opening for people who are not its customers. The agency asked the bank via a tweet on its official handle.

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FCCPC said:

“Can Wema Bank comment publicly on the message that consumers without Wema Bank accounts are receiving across the country, allegedly from the bank? This situation is widespread and cannot be a DM ( direct message) issue anymore. Wema Bank has to come clean,” the commission said in the tweet.

Wema Bank speaks

Funmilayo Falola, Wema Bank’s head of marketing said the bank is yet to get any letter from any agency in regards to the issue.

According to her, the bank has started an investigation into the matter after several customers made complaints about the data breaches.

The bank said it will keep all customer’s data confidential, saying that no account can be opened without people’s permission.

Access Bank lead 8 banks in Nigeria to spend N23 billion in travel expenses in 2021 has reported that nine banks in Nigeria said they spent a total of N23 billion on business trips across the globe in 2021, according to data collated from financial resorts of the banks.

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The amount includes the cost of travel, hotels, passages and other logistics which are connected to travelling within and out of Nigeria.

Access, Fidelity, Sterling, UBA, Zenith, GTB, Stanbic IBTC, First Bank and FCMB are the banks which spent the most on travel expenses.


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