A client with a leading bank today started a social media smear campaign to protest the bank’s decision to block his account. Co-op Bank had flagged the account for suspicious activities.
The client holds an account at Co-op Bank’s Nyali Branch. Trending posts claimed that top management at the bank had conspired to irregularly drain his personal account of Ksh. 468,527.00. The client had resulted to tagging names and sharing contact numbers of the Nyali Branch Manager, and two other branch officials.
However, in a press release to various media houses, Mr. Ngumo Kahiga (Co-op Bank’s Head of Marketing and Communications) clearly outlined the Bank’s policy to block down an account that reflects suspicious or illegal activities. This is a legal undertaking, and following procedure, the client had been notified of the matter as early as March 2020.
Mr. Ngumo expressed dismay at the unfortunate turn of events.
“Their response is to threaten a social media smear campaign instead of addressing the issues raised. The bank will not be intimidated to allow suspected irregular activities whatsoever”. He further said.
Illegal activities frowned upon in the banking industry and most likely to get an account flagged, include money laundering. There’s since been banking innovations to easily counter this vice. Also, most banks will flag accounts with an income flow suspected to be from drug trade, human trafficking, political sabotage and other crimes along that line.
The actual origin of the term “money laundering” is traced to the infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone, in the 1930’s. The gangster hid the proceeds of his illegal alcohol trade by slipping the money into the cash registers of washing machine companies.
The basic sense here is to hide the origin of some illegal money by slipping it into a financial system, to clean it. It’s illegal on many fronts.