SKS Microfinance witnessed financial frauds to the tune of R2.1 crore during FY 2013 and is taking a slew of measures to prevent its employees from indulging in such offences.
Investigations are in progress and services of employees involved in the fraud have been terminated and the company is in the process of taking legal action, according to the company's latest annual report.
“We (auditors) have been informed that during the year there were instances of cash embezzlements in the company aggregating R1,27,62,403; loans given to non-existent borrowers on the basis of fictitious documentation created by the employees of the company aggregating R83,32,870 and misappropriation of cash by an external party, amounting to R4,55,000,” company auditors SR Batliboi and Co said in their comments.
Responding to the auditors' comments, SKS said cash embezzlement is 0.04% of disbursement during the year and to mitigate this risk to a large extent the management has put in place several preventive control measures.
SKS' action plan includes procuring indemnity bond from every field staff, with personal guarantee of a third person, besides ensuring that every bank transaction (deposit/withdrawal) to be executed by a minimum of two employees, comprising a bank signatory and a confirmed staff, the company has informed.
The net impact of frauds comes to around 0.06% (vis-à-vis 0.51% over last year) of the total amount disbursed by the company during FY13.
“Company is working towards further reducing this percentage by making process improvements, obtaining adequate insurance cover and by increasing engagements and opportunities for direct contact with members,” the only listed micro-lender said.
During the year under review, it has recovered an amount of R1.4 crore against a fraud amount written off in previous years, SKS said.
To prevent risk of loans to non-existent borrowers/ fictitious borrowers, SKS said it ensures that all loans disbursed pass through a checker control system, wherein loans processed by a 'sangam manager' are first approved by a branch manager or an assistant branch manager.
During FY 2012, some employees of SKS had swindled R15.8 crore by way of fraudulent methods.