Sterling bank enmeshed in another fraud scandal

Sterling bank enmeshed in another fraud scandal

TVIO Solutions, a fintech company, has accused Sterling bank of allegedly stealing their intellectual property and have subsequently filed a N100 mill

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TVIO Solutions, a fintech company, has accused Sterling bank of allegedly stealing their intellectual property and have subsequently filed a N100 million lawsuit against the new generation bank.

In a statement, TVIO Solutions said it filed a case against Sterling Bank at the federal high court in Lagos for allegedly implementing an idea without recourse to them the originator of the idea.

TVIO Solutions said it developed a pay by installment platform where customers can purchase goods and pay later in four installments at different online and in-store accredited agents at 0% interest.

It said the idea was discussed with Sterling Bank in September 2019 and the bank, having bought into the idea, requested and sought for a proposal to acquire more information about the project.

TVIO Solutions said it sent in a proposal as requested, soliciting for equity or debt from the bank as potential partners in the project.

After receiving the proposal, Sterling Bank was said to have declined to respond to emails, calls and SMS from TVIO Solutions seeking updates on the deal.

In December 2020, Sterling Bank was alleged to have launched a carbon copy of the same initiative and idea proposed to them earlier by TVIO Solutions.

TVIO Solutions said they have evidence of every conversation and meetings held with Sterling Bank in regards to ‘Paywithspecta’ (code name for the project), TheCable reports.

Responding to the theft allegation, Sterling Bank said: “We are aware of the suit and it is currently pending adjudication at the Lagos High Court. As a law-abiding institution, we believe the responsible course of action is to withhold from further commentary on a matter that is sub-judice and await the Court’s decision.”

This wont be the first time that the bank will be enmeshed in fraud scandal.

In 2018, a customer of the bank, OHHA Microfinance Bank Limited, accused the bank of defrauding it to the tune of N219 million. The money was said to have been deposited with the bank by the microfinance institution located in Enugu State with one Mr Oliver Anidiobi, being the account manager of bank’s Market Road branch in the state.

While the accounts were in operation, OHHA Microfinance Bank said it exchanged many letters with Sterling Bank. In each of its replies, OHHA Microfinance Bank added that Sterling Bank confirmed the existence of the accounts and informed that the microfinance bank’s investment would be rolled over at Sterling Bank’s prevailing money market rate.

However, OHHA Microfinance Bank said that when it instructed Sterling Bank to terminate the fixed deposit and credit its current account on maturity with the principal and accrued interest, the latter refused.

Sterling Bank, added OHHA Microfinance Bank, admitted the existence of the accounts but denied the existence of any fixed deposit investment. It went ahead to claim that the deposit certificates presented by OHHA Microfinance Bank were forged. The bank also put up a defence for Mr Anidiobi, whom it admitted to having handed over to the law enforcement agents over allegations of forgery.

OHHA Microfinance Bank demanded that its current account (0023325543) with the sum of N219 million be released to it within seven days of the service of the letter and warned that in the event of a default, it will take every legal step to ensure the recovery of its investments with accrued interest.

But it turned out that Anidiobi willfully defrauded OHHA Microfinance Bank by forging a fixed deposit certificate as evidence of investment and then diverted a total of 187 million naira in installments for his own personal use, following a thorough investigation according to BusinessPost.