It is fair to say that bank and building society managers are not the most popular people in the United Kingdom these days. Traffic wardens will always be unloved and nobody has too much respect or admiration for MPs these days but after these groups, it would be fair to say that bankers are not too popular.
One of the biggest factors for the recession and problems in the UK economy has come from the banking institutions and the people at the top have been responsible for a lot of problems in modern day life. It may be the people at the top of the banking chain who have caused the most amount of problems but all bank manages are treated with a bit more suspicion than they used to be.
This wasn’t always the case; it used to be that being a bank manager was a highly prized position. Back in the era where local communities mattered, being a bank manager was a highly respected position and it was a position of trust that people looked up to. A bank manager had a great deal of responsibility for looking out for the local community and people came to them for support, help and guidance. Olden day bank managers were able to show discretion and compassion for their local community, something which isn’t the case nowadays. Modern day bank managers are often nothing more than glorified sales people, ensuring that their team hits targets and ticks off certain points for their companies. With all of this in mind, it is easy to see why there is no longer a lot of love and admiration for bank managers.
The respect for bank managers will have fallen either further due to the actions of a Nationwide branch manager who managed to defraud elderly customers out of the money that they had saved up all of their lives. The Old Bailey heard how Hugo Mbaeri, set up a number of bogus standing orders, which amounted to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Mbaeri is on trial for fraud cases which include abusing his position and of a conspiracy to commit fraud. He is alleged to have provided customer names, signatures and account details to a fraud gang while he was in charge at the building society. If this was indeed the case, it is a shocking action and one that will leave many people feeling angry and highly annoyed at him, and at the company for allowing this sort of thing to happen.
Mbaeri was in the dock alongside 7 other people, who are all accused of using accounts to siphon the funds away from the elderly people. It is believed that the ringleader is Olawabiyi Ayanwale, who was not present in the court. It is claimed that a number of the people who were on trial received £300 for allowing fraudsters to access their bank account to receive the money. Given the tough economic climate, you can see why some people will think that this is an opportunity that sounds too good to be true. It is not as if you have to do anything and you will receive £300 in return for doing very little, but of course, there are big consequences from this sort of action and if the fraudsters didn’t have access to these accounts, they would have found it a lot more difficult to receive the funds. This is why it is important that all of the people involved with the process need to be responsible for their actions and if they are found guilty, they need to be punished in a proper manner.
In court, Jonathan Polnay on behalf of the prosecution referred to the fraud as being a “nasty little fraud” and one that “deliberately targeted elderly people with the aim of clearing them out of their life savings.” He also said; “A fraud has taken place on these people, the only question is were these defendants part of it or not. Mr Mbaeri is the inside man in this fraud and the remaining defendants in the dock allowed their accounts to be used for the stolen money to be passed through.”
Some of the people involved may claim ignorance of the crime but as the inside man, Mbaeri knew fine well that he was committing fraud that arose due to his position. There is a need for people facing these charges to receive specialist support, because this is an extremely serious fraud case.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.