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Bank theft: we need an explanation

The greatest theft in the history of Mexican banking has concluded in the most unimaginable way possible and we still haven't gotten adequate answers

Bank theft: we need an explanation
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 22/05/2018 08:58 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 08:58

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The greatest theft in the history of Mexican banking system has concluded in the most unimaginable way possible and we still haven't gotten adequate answers. Additionally, those responsible for the theft have managed to evade justice, which has made this crime, committed a week ago, all the more serious. Meanwhile, the trust in banking institutions wavers.

In this regard, EL UNIVERSAL publishes today elements to better understand the elements surrounding this fraud. First of all, it highlights the way authorities ignored the first warning signs in 2017; secondly, it exposes the lack of preventive measures on the face of said warning signs and, thirdly, the inattention to the security systems implemented to protect the banking system. It all points out the fault is shared by many.

As mentioned in these pages, at least since October of last year, we had the first evidence of money being withdrawn through attacks on our financial system. Theis theft wasn't rehearsed a single time but several times at different moments. It's evident that the theft of hundreds of millions of Mexican pesos was a success for the criminals, yet it's worth asking: why did authorities fail to act since during those first cases?

Moreover, the negligence of the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), organization in charge, among other things, of the security of the banking system, has been evident. This news outlet published yesterday information relative to an investment of MXN$154 million made by this organization to renovate their IT infrastructure since they were aware they had security risks.

Since, at least, two years ago, the organization in charge of providing security to the IT infrastructure of the banking system knew it had vulnerabilities, made an investment to solve the problem – but it failed, which means there was either an omission or a lack of interest in fully addressing the situation. Moreover, the investigation and the fraud of a few days ago reveal that the vulnerabilities persist.

And despite it all, financial authorities still refuse to give accurate answers to what happened. Doubts regarding the M.O., the perpetrators of the theft, and the consequences of these facts deserve more public explanations. In the end, trust in the baking system is in question.

The fact is that this casts uncertainty on the security of the assets of millions of people, who use the financial system every day. Authorities do not only owe us an explanation but also to find those responsible of the crime; otherwise, mistrust will continue in the banking environment. There's a lot at stake.

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