LOCAL banks and financial institutions should employ stringent and comprehensive screening programmes such as those used by their foreign counterparts to combat the rising fraud in the sector.
Hill & Associates group senior executive vice-president Marc Davey said most local banks in the region did not have comprehensive screening programmes when it comes to recruiting staff, as the selection was mainly based on qualifications and experience.
“Apart from screening their prospective employees, local banks should also screen their contractors and vendors.
“The integrity of the candidate is also important. It is imperative to know the candidate's background to see whether the individual has criminal records or has been declared a bankrupt.
“From our findings in the region, about 54% of all fraud in an organisation is committed by employees and 70% of all curriculum vitae is falsified in some way or another,'' he said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.
Hill & Associates is a security and risk management company headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. The company has offices in 15 countries and its customers comprise leading multinationals and financial institutions .
According to Davey, about 70% of all employee applications in Asia have some form of discrepancy in relation to qualifications and experience.
Citing an example, he added: “A vice-president of a foreign bank who recently applied for a senior position at an international investment firm in Malaysia was found to have faked his degree after Hill & Associates, through its pre-employment screening division in Petaling Jaya, detected it.
Davey, a former senior police officer in Hong Kong, said one of the pertinent reasons fraud arose was because there was a lack of highly qualified professionals to meet the region's demand. He said compared to other sectors in Asia, the banking and financial sector was more proactive in adopting good screening programmes and tools.
Hill & Associates country manager for Malaysia, John Rajoo said money laundering was another growing menace faced by financial institutions in Asia. He said banks now realised the urgency of this problem and many had set up specialised departments to address it.