The banking industry is now one of the best-performing ones. This shift is mostly informed by the need of clients to grow their money without working so hard and the assurance of guaranteed returns. While opening and running a bank is almost fail-safe, there is one element now creeping in on the banking sector. This is banking fraud. In the past, this was perpetrated by outsiders, but nowadays, even employees are defrauding banking clients.
Without a corporate litigation lawyer, your bank might close down owing to the banking fraud claims brought against you by clients or the government. The term ‘banking fraud’ might sound simple, but in essence, encompasses various white-collar crimes. These include check, card and accounting fraud, embezzlement, fraudulent loans, and rogue trading.
While it is ok to have a lawyer you can call in case these kinds of fraud plaque your institution, the prudent choice is having one on a retainer rather than as-need basis. Your lawyer will use one of the following defenses to get you an acquittal for the banking fraud charges brought against your institution or employee.
Lack of Intent
Like other fraud charges, bank fraud needs intent to defraud for the charge to stick. The intent in this context is defined as the informed execution of a ploy to defraud. The prosecutors in your case will thus set to prove that your employee intended to defraud one entity or individual whose cash was held in your financial institution. If you can prove that this was not the case, then you can avoid liability for the case in question.
Act in Good Faith
You are meant to ensure the safety of the money people cash at your bank and invest it safely to avoid a case where you lose your clients’ cash. If you show that your investment for the cash entrusted to your institution was in good faith, then you can avoid a guilty verdict for your case. Acting in good faith might be a somewhat challenging element to prove, but you can rely on your past financial history to establish that how you acted was what you thought was right.
At times, your employee is under some form of threat to engage in some act that defrauds your clients. If someone intentionally defrauded clients because they were subjected to a threat of harm, then they might not be held criminally liable for the same. Duress, in this case, is not just ordinary pressure but the imposing of unlawful pressure on the defendant.
Banking is not foolproof. Your employees might make some honest errors in administrative documents sometimes. Some of the mistakes include an incorrect EFT from and to a client’s account, bookkeeping errors, and inaccurate amounts on a client’s receipt. Proving that what a client has construed as fraud is actually an error can get you off the hook.
You owe a fiduciary responsibility to your bank’s clients and should take the necessary steps to protect their investments. Mistakes nonetheless still happen. With one of the above defenses, you can get your employees and the bank acquitted and avoid hefty fines and a loss of trust among your clients.