The demand for digital transcription service in the financial industry has grown exponentially in recent years, as banks and money markets expand, collide and collapse. Proper documentation is essential to keep track of these ever-fluctuating businesses. Financial transcription services for banks, investment firms as well as insurance companies offer highly secure transcription storage in order to protect sensitive information. But are these confidential documents safe at banks? An investigative report published in CBC News reveals shocking facts about document forgery in the financial industry in Canada. A former CIBC representative disclosed that 85% of sales staff in her workplace forged documents, encouraged by the manager.
Document forgery, is, no doubt a crime. Most common forged documents include checks, money orders, currency, and corporate documents among others. The former employee from CIBC said that when she couldn’t meet sales targets, her manager told her to forge customers’ initials so it appeared that they had agreed to purchase insurance when they applied for a credit card, then cancel it a week or so later.
Other facts revealed in the report include:
- A financial adviser who handled wealthy clients asked this CIBC employee to forge customer signatures for insurance on loans, telling her his clients would never notice extra charges.
- A financial adviser who recently left TD Bank says he often witnessed his manager copying customers’ signatures onto documents using “signature cards” on file.
- Financial consultants usually forged signatures for the client or consultant’s “convenience,” and the number of forgery cases has increased due to improved detection by compliance departments within financial firms.
Signature Falsification – A Major Concern
An annual enforcement report from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada has reported that financial consultants usually forged signatures for the client or consultant’s “convenience,” and the number of forgery cases has increased due to improved detection by compliance departments within financial firms. The report discusses the deceptive methods such as the following that people in the financial industry are using and warned against them.
- Copying a client’s name on a document
- Cutting and pasting a signature
- Photocopying to “re-use” a signature
- Using correction fluid to alter information on a document without a client’s consent
Financial institutions as well as their partnering legal transcription companies dealing with confidential data can benefit from highly secured electronic signatures. The Federal legislation enacted in 2000, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (the E-Sign Law), made electronic signatures and electronic contracts just as legally enforceable as traditional paper contracts signed in ink. A digital signature can also provide additional assurances and security in linking an electronic document with the signer.