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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

Global Heists on ATM Machines Imminent- FBI

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America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned banks in Nigeria and others across the globe that criminals are gearing up to execute a global bank heist in the coming days.

 

In a recent confidential alert FBI told international banks that criminals are plotting a concerted global malware attack on cash machines in the next few days.

 

The FBI issued a warning about a highly choreographed fraud scheme known as an ATM “jackpotting”, or ATM cash-out,” in which crooks hack a bank or payment card processor and use cloned cards at cash machines around the world to take out millions in just a few minutes.

 

The alert said the agency had procured information indicating an attack was imminent and that it was likely an “unlimited operation,” which uses malware to exploit network access and get customers’ card information at a large scale.

Once the criminals get the card data, they create fraudulent copies using reusable magnetic strip cards (like gift cards) and hit the ATMs.

 

“Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities,” reads the confidential alert, which was sent to banks last Friday.

 

“The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future.”

 

The alert urges banks to review their security systems and use two-factor authentication with a physical or digital token.

 

Other tips include monitoring and limiting administrator and business accounts with the authority to modify typical fraud controls like maximum withdrawal amounts and number of daily ATM transactions.

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E-Financial

Oradian, ANMFIN Unveil New Cloud-based Microfinance Solution

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As part of their shared mission to boost financial inclusion throughout Nigeria, Oradian and the Association of Non-Bank Microfinance Institution of Nigeria (ANMFIN) have launched a strategic partnership.

Princess Adesola Ogunleye, the President of ANMFIN, commented on the partnership saying, “We are extremely pleased to partner with Oradian. Together we align our shared vision and leverage the success delivered to date.

The partnership will enable all of our MFIs to move to Oradian’s cloud-based solution, helping our members to save time and money through more efficient, digitised processes – no more manual input of data. We and our members are very excited to improve administrative process, reduce high operational costs and offer digital financial services across the country.”

Launching ANMFIN Cloud Express expands the range of solutions that Oradian offers in Nigeria. As stated by Antonio Separovic, CEO of Oradian, “Nigeria was Oradian’s first market when we started Oradian six years ago and we remain committed to solving the financial inclusion challenge here. This partnership is a long-term partnership that is an important step towards this goal”.

The partnership will enable ANMFIN to promote access to financial services for Nigerian clients on a larger scale by using ANMFIN Cloud Express, a core banking system specially built for ANMFIN and its microfinance institution (MFI) members.

ANMFIN Cloud Express, powered by Instafin, is a cloud-based toolset tailored to enable smaller Nigerian microfinance institutions (MFIs) to benefit from a cloud-based solution.

According to Oradian’s Programme Director for Africa Onyeka Adibeli, “ANMFIN Cloud Express enhances MFIs’ ability to manage all operations including client relationships, transactions, portfolio management and reporting in the same way that large banks do – but at a fraction of the cost.

We are removing the barriers that prevent MFIs from using the right technology to serve their clients and to strengthen their operations.”

With a cost and a system tailored for the needs of smaller MFIs, Oradian’s partnership with ANMFIN enables more financial institutions to take advantage of technology to become more efficient, grow and reach more unbanked individuals in rural communities.

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E-Financial

CBN Boosts Foreign Exchange with $210m

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has sustained its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market by injecting 210 million dollars into the various segments of the market.

 

Mr Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN,  on Tuesday in Abuja, said the apex bank offered 100 million dollars as wholesale interventions and allocated 55 million dollars to Small and Medium Enterprises.

 

Okorafor said another 55 million dollars was allocated to customers requiring foreign exchange for business and personal travels, tuition or medical fees, among others.

 

The CBN spokesman said the the bank was pleased with the performance of the naira because it had continued to enjoy stability against the dollar and other major currencies of the world in recent times.

 

He reassured the public that the CBN would continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market to ensure liquidity in the foreign exchange market and maintain stability.

 

Okoroafor reiterated, in a statement, that the steps taken by the CBN in foreign exchange management had resulted in further reduction in the country’s import bills and accretion to its foreign reserves.

 

It will be recalled that the CBN on Aug. 10, intervened in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales to the tune of 327 million dollars in the agricultural and raw materials and 69 million Chinese Yuan in the spot and short-tenored forwards.

 

Meanwhile, the naira continued to maintain its strong stand against major currencies around the globe, exchanging for N360 to a dollar in the Bureau De Change segment of the market.

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