Friday, June 18, 2021

Senate directs investigation into alleged excessive bank charges


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Senate on Wednesday at plenary directed its Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to investigate complaints of Nigerians on illicit and excessive bank charges by commercial banks on customers’ accounts.

It also directed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to look into the complaints of Nigerians and review the charges on their bank accounts.

The resolutions of Senate, were sequel to a motion by Sen. Abba Moro (PDP-Benue South) on urgent need to investigate and review illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks on customers’ accounts.

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Moro, while presenting the motion, said there have been several complaints from Nigerians over illicit and excessive charges by commercial banks on their accounts.

He said that such charges and deductions ranged from bank Short Message Service (SMS) charges, intra-bank transfers charges in the sum of N52.50, Automated Teller Machines (ATM), card renewal charges, account maintenance charges in the sum of N93.13, among other charges.

He said that the charges had caused uproar within the public, as Nigerians felt the charges were fraudulent and targeted at further impoverishing them.

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Moro said that Nigerians were worried as to what the money being deducted for the charges was for, as countries in overseas do not charge their customers in like manner.

He said that Nigerian banks in a bid to extort customers had set most of their ATM machines to dispense cash below the maximum of N40,000 that ATMs were programme to dispense per transaction.

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“Thus, customers using ATMs do not have a choice than to withdraw much lagger amounts per transaction, thereby incurring additional cost of N65 per transaction after using ATM beyond three times.”

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He also said that rather than banks giving out ATM cards stuck in their machines back to card holder, such cards were shredded into pieces and the card holder had to apply for another ATM card which attracted N1,000.

“We can imagine the number of Nigerians who have experienced their cards being stuck in the machine and having to pay N1,000 over again for re-issuance,” Abba said.


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