Saturday, February 20, 2016 8:50 am
Nigerian bank customers complaining about illegal and excessive charges by their banks can channel their grievances straight to the Central Bank of Nigeria, their regulator.
The Central Bank in a statement directs Nigerians to report the rogue banks to its Consumer Protection Department, with the e-mail address email@example.com.
Last year alone, the CBN was able to force the rogue banks cough back N6.2billion to their customers.
Of recent, Nigerians using the banks to remit school fees and pay medical bills have complained that the banks have been charging them parallel market rates despite the CBN selling dollars to the banks at N197. In some banks, charges vary from N380 to N382 to the dollar, and N462-N470 to the pounds sterling, leaving customers bewildered that the banks have turned corporate black market havens.
But the CBN says its CPD can deal with these issues and others.
“The Revised Guide to Bank Charges clearly specifies allowable charges for all banking services and the CBN does not in any way condone the fleecing of banking customers under any guise…
“It was in the quest to provide a strong voice to banks’ customers and moderate the arbitrary charges that the CBN in 2012, established its Consumer Protection Department. For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN has investigated over 6000 complaints relating to unauthorised bank charges brought to its notice, following which banks have been compelled to refund the sum of over N6.2 billion to affected customers in 2015 alone.
“The CBN wishes to reiterate its resolve to continuously enforce the provision of the Revised Guide to Bank Charges and urges members of the public to report cases of infringement to enable it investigate and apply sanctions on any erring Deposit Money Bank (DMB)”
In a related development, the CBN has also reassured Nigerians that it has not stopped the allocation and sale of Foreign Exchange for purposes of paying school fees and settlement of medical bills overseas.
The Bank therefore urges members of the public to disregard any contrary information in respect thereof.
” The Bank urges members of the public to discountenance such misinformation. All genuine users desiring to obtain foreign exchange for the abovementioned purposes are hereby urged to freely approach their banks with their requests and appropriate documentation,” it said.