CBN may just be hapless over banks violation of charges rules

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By Odunewu Segun

In furtherance of its powers under the CBN Act (as amended) and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (as amended) (“BOFIA”), on 21 April 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria published a Circular which serves to guide all Banks and Other Financial Institutions (“BOFI”) on the permissible parameters for imposing charges for the Services that these Institutions render to their customers.

National Daily, however, gathered that most of the banks conveniently ignored the directives because of weak enforcement of the rules, charging, deducting and alerting customers afterwards.

Further investigation by National Daily revealed that banks still charge N100, instead of N50 for Electronic Funds Transfer below N10, 000,000. Yet the CBN looks on helplessly as the banks continue to declare huge profits from extra charges alone, rising from N109 billion in 2015 to a staggering N138bn in 2016.

Some bank customers who spoke with National Daily said the banks take advantage of the weak CBN regulations to cheat on their customers.

AJude Okwuoseh accused Diamond Bank of deducting stamp duty charges on his Diamond Xtra-savings account “The annoying aspect is that stamp duty which is only on deposits, and on current accounts only are charged on an account that has neither any deposit nor was active for two months, was charged in arrears.”

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Another customer, Abbey Oba believes that until Nigerians try out the court options, CBN may just be helpless. First Bank of Nigeria according to him has been drawing down on an account that has been dormant for more than three years, “charging fee for SMS alert and alerting me that am charged. I think since alerts are optional, I am going to stop it and use my mobile to check my account regularly.”

Similarly, Ikegwuonu Don Onyiah who said he is from the University of Ibadan Alumni said his current account balance was COMPLETELY exhausted by Diamond bank when it was dormant. “More grease to the bank’s elbows,” he exclaimed

Yet another bank customer, Dime Anne Agboire observed that Banks in Nigeria no longer make money from core business of banking and provision of services to Customers. They make lazy money from these charges he added, which are imposed on customers whether they like it or not.

“Diamond Bank recently charged N300, 000 as bank charges on an account which had been dormant for four years. There was never any credit facility on the Account, just bank charges on a dormant account.”

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