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CBN Orders Banks to Repay all Excess Charges

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said any bank that deducts monies illegally from a customer’s account for products and services would be forced to refund the money to the customer with interest.

 

This is sequel to complaints by bank customers within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over excess charges by banks through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawals.

 

The customers said as a result of the development, they dreaded making withdrawals using other banks ATMs because of the continued charge of N65 for every transaction.

 

According to the customers, most banks within the city centre have programmed their ATMs to dispense only N10,000 or less per transaction, thus ripping off customers withdrawing more than that amount.

 

The customers complained that if they had to withdraw N100,000 or more through other banks ATM, it meant they would lose so much money.

 

They, however, called on the CBN and other relevant authorities to look into the matter so as to help poor Nigerians.

 

Mr Fada David, Consumer Complaints Management, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, said that the Monetary Policy Circular of the CBN gives certain guidelines as to how much should be refunded to customers if excess charges are discovered.

 

“Part of the punitive measures is that if excess charges are discovered, they are refunded to consumers with interest,” he said.

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David, however, assured bank customers that the CBN monitors all banks regularly to make sure that banks do not short-change them.

 

He also encouraged customers to read the CBN’s Guide to Bank Charges circular to know those charges that their banks were allowed to charge and the correct amount.

 

“Consumers should consult this document to know how much they are expected to pay for services.

 

“When you go through it and in a situation where you see charges that you do not understand, you have the right to write your bank and get them to explain what the charges are.

 

“In a situation where it becomes clear that the customer was charged excessively, the customer should get them to reverse it.

“You have the right to know how much you are charged from operating your account and make sure that the bank only charges the specified amount,” he said.

 

Also, Mr Oludamola Atanda of the Consumer Education Division, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, urged bank customers to demand for their statement of account monthly.

 

He said that it would help customers to monitor their accounts closely.

 

“You have the right to demand for the right product and services. The bank cannot force you to go for a specific product or loan facility. You have the right to choose.

 

“If they give you a product you do not like, you do not have to take it. Its important for us to understand this.

 

“There is also the issue of right to privacy. My bank should not share my details with just anybody. For instance, a wife cannot come and say she wants details of her husband’s account.

 

“Only by court order can an account details by revealed to a third party,” he said.

 

Atanda said at times, customers complain about certain bank products because they were not properly informed about the products.

 

“If I am taking a product, my bank has the responsibility to educate me on that product.

 

“If it is a savings product, a customer should know how it works, how many times to withdraw in a month, how much interest to expect and the minimum deposit on the account.

 

“We are saying that you have the right to demand good service. Those are the things we want to let customers know,” he said.

 

 

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E-Financial

Bankers, Criminals Collaborate to Clone ATM Cards- Police

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Dan Okoro, commissioner of Police, Anti-Fraud Unit, Federal Criminal Investigation Intelligence Department (FCIID) Ikoyi- Lagos, has raised alarm over many cloned certificates and ATM cards in circulation.

 

Okoro raised the alarm while briefing journalists in Lagos on the discovery of some cloned certificates by a syndicate, which specialised in printing fake documents of banks, government and corporate organisations.

 

He said that the syndicate had been using the cloned documents to defraud banks, government, corporate organisations and individuals, stressing that some bank officials were collaborating with the suspects for the crime.

 

Among documents cloned by the syndicate included CBN, presidential clearance certificates, IMF and court documents.

 

“I advise members of the public against cloned certificates, ATM card and other important documents currently in circulation. I want members of the public to keep their pin numbers, passwords and ATM safe.

 

“We have some documents recovered from one suspect arrested. We are investigating the documents and some bank staffers allegedly collaborating the syndicate.

 

“It is only the bankers that have details of every deposit in the bank. Our investigation revealed that some bankers give information to the syndicate on how much customers have in every account.

“The syndicate cloned documents and transferred such money to another account, particularly, accounts with ATM cards are their easiest target.

 

“Many crimes are going on in different banks, unfortunately, the bank management will not allow the public to know about it because they want to keep their customers trust,” he said.

 

Okoro said the unit was able to detect some of the documents through the assistance of a foreign cyber security firm based in Lagos using forensic analysis equipment to unravel the identities of the syndicate members.

 

He noted that cyber crime was a global challenge, stressing that the unit was synergising with the foreign firm for capacity building for officers and men in the unit.

 

The commissioner said the suspect arrested was currently in the hospital after he collapsed during search of his house and many incriminating materials, including hard drugs were discovered.

 

“The suspect is a web site designer. He designed many of the cloned documents. We are on the trail of other members of the syndicate,” Mr Okoro said.

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NSE Wins Best Use of Technology for Efficiency Award

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has announced that it received the 2018 Best Use of Technology for Efficiency Award from Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards 2018 (NTITA).

The NTITA is the most celebrated industry awards for the Technology and Telecom industries attracting top decision makers in the sectors. The annual event is held to showcase excellence and celebrate the continued growth of Nigeria’s Information, Communication and Technology industry with a focus on the exceptional and innovative performance within the industry.

The award was presented by Mr Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) to the Chief Executive Officer of The Exchange, represented by Mr Olumide Orojimi, Head, Corporate Communications, NSE at ​NTITA  Award ceremony.

According to Mr Akin Naphtal, Chairman, Organising Committee of the awards ceremony, stated that the award is in recognition of NSE’s outstanding service, innovation and tireless efforts in the industry.

“We are proud to promote success stories, technology advancement and disruption in one of the most dynamic business sectors in Nigeria. Not only do we look at businesses, but also those who have made a genuine impact on the market from within these companies”.

Commenting on the award, Mr Bola Adeeko, Head, Shared Services Division, NSE, stated that, “we are very honoured to receive this award.

This achievement is a testament to the efficiency of our service offering which is underpinned by cutting edge technology. This award will spur us to continue to provide investors and businesses with a reliable, efficient and adaptable exchange hub in Africa, to save and to access capital”.

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Senate Orders Suspension of ATM Fee, Summons Emefiele

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been told to direct all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) operating in the country to suspend the monthly N50 they charge their customers for the maintenance of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards.

 

This was the resolution of the Senate on Wednesday after a lawmaker in the red chamber moved a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers’ accounts.

 

The Senate also directed its Committee on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of Automated Teller Machine card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices.

The Senate decision was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who expressed dissatisfaction with excessive charges by Nigerian Banks.

 

Ashafa lamented that most banks have deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal, adding this is deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine.

 

According to him: “ost banks deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal at the ATM.

 

“This is a deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine, which are ordinarily manufactured to dispense as much as N40,000 per transaction, in order to attract more bank charges from customers, who are forced to carry out more transactions due to the manipulated machines.”

 

Other Senator who spoke like Emmanuel Bwacha and Adeola Olamilekan kicked against excessive charges by Nigerian banks on Customers account with particular focus on the ATM.

 

The Senate also Mandated the committee on Banking to invite the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to appear before the committee in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of banking institutions against ordinary customers to the banks.

 

In addition, the lawmakers Urged the Customer Protection Council to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.

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