By Odunewu Segun
Bank customers under the umbrella of Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON) and Coalition of Nigerian Consumer Protection Associations have declared today, 1st of March, a no banking day to protest excessive charges by the banks.
They called on other bank customers in the country to avoid all bank transactions today. The groups called on Nigerians to avoid bank transaction such as transfers, deposits or make use of their cards for any transaction today.
Messages had been sent via the social media and shared on WhatsApp calling for the boycott. The cry against excessive bank charges had increased after banks were directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to deduct the N50 stamp duty collected on behalf of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST).
Founder of CAFON, Sola Salako in a statement said “for many years now, customers of banking services have endured excessive charges, unexplainable fees and unfair contracts that only protect the banks but do not protect the consumers.
“Banks debit customers’ accounts at will for charges we never agreed to or were not aware of; they charge us for everything; some banks are charging N210 for the use of deposit and transfer forms in their branches.”
Salako noted further that thousands of customers had fallen victims of ATM fraud because the “banking industry failed in its duty of educating and informing consumers of the inherent dangers in online banking at commencement.
“These incessant multiple charges are even more prevalent on loan accounts, while many banks have also taken advantage of the CBN’s fluctuating forex policy to charge customers exchange rates that far exceed the CBN rates without even notifying the customers of the rates before the transactions.”