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How We See It

Ken Hartley

Ken Hartley

August 31, 2012

Working Together to Make Our Community a Safer Banking Environment
By: Ken Hartley, Security and Loss Prevention Officer

Criminals using advanced technology, intricate scams, counterfeited currency and credit cards have caused a steady increase of financial crimes; escalating losses and adding a greater risk to customers, merchants, and banking institutions. 

Widespread fraudulent acts such as these target every bank, their customers, and merchants.  Recognizing that the perpetrators of these crimes were a potential danger to all of us, Texas Bank and Trust Company knew that it would take a joint effort to prevent these crimes and to identify those who commit the fraudulent acts.

In a time where most banks tend to fight for the market share and strive to be competitive for customers’ wants and needs, TB&T pioneered the need for a better collaboration between our banking institutions and our associates from the law enforcement community.  We placed a high priority on making our community a safer banking environment.

In 2009, when the FBI estimated the annual dollar loss from the expanding arena of cyber fraud and financial crimes was $264.6 million, TB&T initiated the Longview/Gregg County Fraud Prevention Group.  Previously, financial crimes were enabled to significantly multiply because we had no system in place to communicate with fellow banking institutions. 

Members of area banks and credit unions, as well as officials from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies eagerly joined in monthly group meetings to exchange information concerning financial crimes and the suspects involved.  The members enlisted their contact information to receive immediate internet “alerts” when fraudulent activity was occurring in our area.

Since that time, Texas Bank and Trust has established a second Fraud Prevention Group in the Tyler/ Smith County area.  The combined groups now total more than 200 active members that meet to share pertinent information to sharpen awareness of the constantly changing world of fraud; and to utilize the alert system we have implemented.  Currently, 33 different banks and credit unions, along with 24 law enforcement and prosecution agencies throughout East Texas are actively involved with our groups.

The efforts of these groups have prevented substantial losses to our customers and institutions; and ultimately have assisted in the arrest and prosecution of offenders, not to mention how these efforts have increased the opportunity of restitution for those victimized.

"Texas Bank and Trust believes in the power of unity above competition and invites our banking competitors to
work together to help make our communities safer
places for our family, friends and neighbors."


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