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Bank investigating M169 000 customer complaint

 

Bereng Mpaki

THE Lesotho PostBank (LPB) is investigating a customer’s allegations that about M169 000 was illegally withdrawn from his account.

The customer, Andreas Mateyisi, is a pensioner from the Mokhotlong district. He alleges that between 2008 and 2021, there were several unauthorised withdrawals amounting to M169 000 from his account. He does not know who withdrew the money.

LPB managing director, Molefi Leqhaoe, said they have begun investigating the matter after being informed of Mr Mateyisi’s complaint by the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL).

In his 10 June 2021 letter to the CBL, Mr Mateyisi, said he had approached the regulator because he was not satisfied with the manner in which the LPB handled his grievance when he first reported the matter.

He added that in April this year, he filed a complaint at LPB on an unauthorised M4000 withdrawal from his bank account.

LPB probed the claim and found that M4000 had indeed been withdrawn from Mr Mateyisi’s account by one of its employees. The bank subsequently refunded Mr Mateyisi and fired the rogue employee.

However, LPB insists that Mr Mateyisi had not informed them of the alleged withdrawals amounting to M169 000 which he claims were illegally made over the years.

The bank only learnt about the allegations from the CBL, Mr Leqhaoe said in an interview with the Sunday Express.

Nevertheless, investigations to get to the bottom of what actually transpired were underway, he added.

“We are currently investigating the customer’s complaint,” Mr Leqhaoe said.

“What we currently can prove is that the customer has been signing vouchers for authorization of withdrawals from his bank account over the years except for the M4000 withdrawal (by the ex-LPB employee),” Mr Leqhaoe added.

The bank’s Compliance and Legal Manager, Seth Makara, said Mr Mateyisi did not follow the correct procedures when he filed the complaint.

“After taking up the matter with the CBL, Mr Mateyisi has been referred back to us to investigate the matter. We are working with him to identify the withdrawals he authorised and those he did not,” Advocate Makara said.

LPB also released a statement saying they first received a complaint from Mr Mateyisi on 15 March 2021.

“The complaint…related to the cash withdrawal of M4000. The bank investigated the complaint and found that indeed the customer’s funds amounting to M4 000 were withdrawn by one of our members who worked as a teller at Mapholaneng (Mokhotlong) branch. The bank refunded the customer and took disciplinary action against the teller who was later dismissed in May 2021,” the statement said.

The bank also questioned why Mr Mateyisi was only now complaining about the alleged withdrawals dating back to 2008.

“It is surprising that the customer alleges his funds were withdrawn since 2008 yet he has never reported the matter to the bank or the police. However, the bank has reported the matter to the police to further investigate customer’s allegations of fraud.

“LPB management wishes to reassure its customers and the public at large that it continues to operate as regulated by Central Bank of Lesotho and that customers’ funds are safe.

“The bank has policies and procedures in place to address customers’ complaints and queries. Therefore, our customers are encouraged to approach the Bank whenever they have complaints through our toll- free number 80099920, social media pages, our branches or the office of the managing director. We appreciate our customer’s confidence and support to the bank. We shall continue to put our customers first and service them with integrity and professionalism,” the bank said.

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