UK banking experts warn PHL banks on remittance fraud

British banking experts, selling their anti-fraud services, warned Philippine banks that remittances of overseas Filipino workers(OFWs) can fall into the hands of global syndicates.

They asked commercial banks to upgrade their fraud detection system to ensure that OFW money transfers are safe.

Fraud is a $10-billion highly organized industry with patterns that constantly change to avoid detection, said Frank Tan, head of the UK-based Alaric International.

Banks which suffered cases of fraud experience not only financial loss, their reputation are tainted, Tan said.

Alaric International is one of Britain’s key banking and consultancy companies now on a trade mission here in the Philippines, with a view to securing the $21-billion OFW remittance business.

At a forum on UK Retail Banking Solutions at the Mandarin Hotel in Makati City, hosted by the British embassy in Manila, Alaric International offered its fractals system on Adaptive Classification Engine that detects fraud through advanced statistical techniques.

“The current banking landscape is highly competitive with changing patterns of banking clients that require more banking services outside the normal business hours,” said Tan in his presentation at the forum.

Philippine commercial banks need to upgrade their systems for a safer and more secure money transfers, said Edward Devereux of G4S Cash Solutions Inc.

Better service at lower costs must be in place to keep OFWs from doing business in the underworld money markets where their money is placed in risky hands, said Devereux.

The Philippines should take advantage of the services being offered by Britain’s experts in safe and secure banking, said Derek Page, director of trade and investments of the British embassy in Manila.

“The huge amount of money being sent by… overseas Filipino workers is very important in stimulating the economy,” the British official noted, saying any new technology in commercial retail banking must be adapted to secure safety of the OFW remittances. — VS, GMA News