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$2 million gone missing

One of the two Republic Bank locations in the capital city of St George in Grenada

Some account holders angry with Republic Bank

With dozens of Republic Bank customers scrambling to obtain their money back, many are bewildered that after 4 months they still have not had a proper response from the Executive Directors of Republic Bank Grenada.

Our News Desk has been contacted by a dozen or so disgruntled Republic Bank customers. Their stories are quite similar.

None of these customers authorised any payments by way of Wire Transfer. Yet literally close to 2 million dollars cumulatively has already vanished.

Among the affected Republic Bank customers are a former female government minister, as well as persons in real estate and the tourism sector with large accounts in the financial institution.

“Woman A” who wishes to remain anonymous said upon seeing fraudulent activity she alerted the Bank by going into Republic House personally. She was told that the accounts will be secured from now on. For the following 5 days all her life savings were withdrawn and sent to Europe in daily transactions under the Bank’s own block.

“The accounts were not locked and the money kept leaving the account until there was none left” she said.

“A female Retail Branch Manager who lacked compassion and was actually quite unpleasant was told to deal with it. She was more interested in her own hair and flicking her Nails.”

“I was told my email was compromised and that someone got access to my account and made Online transfers. The Manager told me, “your money lose in Cyberspace.”

“I was astonished with such a foolish and brazen comment. Later the Retail Manager told me that as I fly frequently through the Airport that maybe my phone was cloned and someone managed to gain access to my Bank account – utter nonsense”

“Woman B” who did not have the popular “local domain email” was told her foreign email was compromised without a shred of proof.

She alerted the Bank that a massive sum of money, which was banked recently, following her completion of a transaction on a family property.

When she called the bank to alert them of the fraudulent wire transfer they said they will send an email to the Intermediate Bank. The protocol would be to call the Intermediate Bank in the USA by Telephone – they failed in this duty.

After 3 days a reply came back that the entire funds were “gone” and forwarded to some Credit Union in another State.

“I demanded a meeting with one of the Republic Bank Executive team, led by Naomi De Allie. After 4 months I have not been afforded the courtesy of a reply. As a professional woman myself, I am disappointed that the Executive team have been not only ineffective but blatantly coward in letting junior Managers take the flack. I question why these Executives are in this role at all.”

“I could not fathom a Bank employee telling me this so lightly, my money gone. Money I worked for, over 40 years of my life and my dead husband…nah man these people in the Bank are terrible and lack training.” Your money is NOT safe in this Bank and there are no regulations as a consumer to protect you in this Region.”

“Man 1” showed our News Desk his Bank Statement. He was attending a funeral in Atlanta. A massive sum of money was taken in one whole transaction (Quarter of a million Dollars).

“This money was sent to the USA. This is despite breaking many USA violations of transfers over $5000. Following 9/11, the USA implemented many new measures. These were to prevent funding for Drugs, Terrorism and money laundering. No SAR – Suspicious Activity Report was even filed.”

“So far there seems to be a massive cover-up. But since my fraud began in February, there has been many others occurring last month and last week to another prominent Grenadian.”

Class Action Suit in preparation –
Republic Bank has failed to profile its own customers’ accounts. None of the dozen or so we spoke to had ever done a Wire Transfer.

Republic Bank also breached its own care of duty to its customers and ought to have contacted each of the customers given the red flags raised in these transactions.

Republic Bank offered these clients mentioned here, as it did for all its customers, the use of its secure online banking portal to conduct online transactions and gave it two sets of unique credentials to access the online banking portal known only to these people.

In addition, there is a secret question. It is really not so easy to gain access to the accounts in reality from outside.

This News Desk is aware that so far, 5 separate Grenada Attorneys have been hired to fight individual claims for the recovery of their money against Republic Bank. It could end up as “a Class Action Suite” said one Attorney, who also did not want to be named.

The ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine was informed by complaints from most of those affected.

There has been a lot of discussion by the Bank Regulator for Republic Bank to return the money to the clients. Republic Bank Grenada has refused to refund anyone. This despite making bumper profits. Republic Bank posted profits after tax of $15.53 million for fiscal 2023, this year 2024 will be even higher.

THE NEW TODAY reached out to the local head of Republic Bank Naomi De Allie who did not deny any of the contents in the article involving the loss of millions of dollars by customers but said that the financial institution was taking the matter very seriously.

She acknowledged that banks were under pressure due to cyber attacks all over the world.

DeAllie gave assurances that the matter involving “the loss” of huge sums of monies by local customers is being looked at by the most senior Directors of the company and that a response will be forthcoming in due course to the public.

Later in the day, the bank issued the following statement under the headline banner, “Republic Bank encourages security awareness.”

“We are aware that some customers have been negatively impacted by fraudulent activity on their accounts recently.

Republic Bank assures its customers, stakeholders, and the public that any loss arising from these unfortunate incidents is in no part due to any deficiency with our systems.

Our investigations have shown no evidence of compromise of any of our internal systems and procedures and as such, the Bank firmly rejects any allegation purporting possible fraudulent activity on customers’ accounts originating internally. These allegations are not only unfounded but also misleading.

The public should be wary of external phishing attacks which unfortunately are increasing globally.

We urge the public to remain vigilant against unsolicited messages and phishing attempts. Should any of our customers suspect that they may have been a victim of phishing, please contact us immediately through our official channels.

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