CBN faults Banks over ATM withdrawal limits, illegal charges

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN has faulted Banks for setting a limit on ATM withdrawals and also directs the Banks to settle customers’ complaints on issues of overcharge and unauthorized deductions within two weeks.

According to CBN’s Head of Complaints Management Division, Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed, the excuses being tendered by the Banks that the quantum of N500 denomination is much more than that of N1, 000 denominations could be corrected.

“When we approached the banks about these problems, they said the machines become easily faulty when it is set to dispense up to N30, 000 to N40, 000 units. However, CBN has directed that the machines that allow payment of up to N30, 000 to N50, 000 should be installed.”

“This is still ongoing. The Banking and Payment Department of the CBN is championing it,” he said.

On the issue of illegal charges, Ahmed explained that that the CBN would ensure that bank customers get a redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawals.

According to him, any charge outside what is stated in the circular is not allowed. “The consumer protection department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt.”

“Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint.

“If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of Central Bank of Nigeria to the complaint,” he said.

Continuing, Ahmed advised customers with unresolved complaints to contact the CBN by writing to the Director Consumer Protection Department or send an email to [email protected].

Also, the Head of Consumer Protection Division, Mrs. Hadija Kasim, said bank customers could also avoid some of these issues by inculcating the habit of cashless policy.

She reminded the public that there were various methods to make payments rather than carrying cash. “Let’s not forget that ATM cards can also be used on Point of Sale (POS) terminals. We are encouraging people that unless it is absolutely necessary, they should reduce the carriage of cash,” she said.