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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

UBA Customers Win N30m in Wise Savers Promo, N90m Still Up for Grabs

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Group Executive, Digital & Consumer Banking, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Anant Rao; Officer, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Abideen Onifade; Executive Director, UBA Plc, Liadi Ayoku; Regional Head Lagos, UBA Plc, Aminat Tunji-Akinwande; Head, Retail Liabilities, UBA Plc, Tomiwa Sotiloye; and Marketing Monitoring and Enforcement Officer, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Nwanneka Ezeani, at the First Quarter Draw of UBA Wise Savers Promo where 20 Savings Account Holders won N1.5m each, in Lagos on Tuesday

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Pan-African financial institution, has rewarded 20 loyal customers with N1,500,000 each, in the first edition of its quarterly draw for the ongoing UBA Wise Savers Promo, which was held at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos on Tuesday.

 

At the event, a total of N30,000,000 was won by 20 lucky customers who were selected following a draw that was witnessed by key regulatory officials including representatives of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, (NLRC); Lagos State Lottery, Board, (LSLB) Consumer Protection Council (CPC) as well as members of the media.

 

To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save at least N10,000 each month for three consecutive months, or N30,000 for 90 days in the  promo, which will run for the rest of the year. Apart from the N30 million won by 20 customers on Tuesday,  another N90 million is still expected to be won by 60 more loyal customers in the remaining three quarters of the year.

 

The winners, who cut across all regions of the country, are: Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji.

 

Others are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji.

 

When contacted on the phone, one of the 20 lucky winners; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn, excitedly  expressed gratitude to the bank and said he was happy to be a customer of the bank. He thanked the bank, and said the move was thoughtful and will help to enrich customers especially during these trying economic times.

 

Mr. Anant Rao, Group Executive, Digital and Consumer Banking who addressed participants at the event, said the promo was launched as part of the bank’s initiatives towards prioritising customers.

 

He added that customers who save consistently would be rewarded in order to promote the financial inclusion initiatives of the bank.

 

‘We believe it is time we rewarded our customers who have been very loyal over the years. Without them, we would not have made the giant strides attained thus far’ .

 

According to Rao, “Because our customers are invaluable to all that we do, we listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve’

 

“We remain committed to consistently improving customer service and rewarding our loyal customers. The Wise Savers Promo seeks to compliment current initiatives aimed at growing savings,” he noted.

 

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E-Financial

CBN, SEC Grant Approval in Principle to Access, Diamond banks’ Merger

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Access Bank and Diamond Bank Plc have obtained approval in principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission on their proposed merger plans.

Mr. Victor Etuokwu, Access Bank Executive Director, Personal Banking,  said in Lagos that CBN and SEC had granted both banks approval in principle for the merger process.

Etuokwu said that the banks were awaiting the final approval which would be granted after convening shareholders meeting.

“So far, we have gotten approvals up to approval in principle. There are three approvals that we need for this process.

“The first one is the pre-order approval which is like the first approval, the next approval is the approval in principle.

“The final approval comes after approval in principle and it will come after you have convened your shareholders meetings,’’ Etuokwu said.

He said that the banks would convene shareholders meetings in February, noting that the approval would be taken to court once approved by the shareholders.

Etuokwu said all the processes including final approval would be completed in the next 60 days.

He said that the new bank would remain committed to retail and corporate banking to drive financial inclusion for desired growth and development.

“We need to invest in retail market to drive economic growth, this is what the new bank will do, a strong corporate and a strong retail bank,’’ he said.

On staff retrenchment, Etuokwu said that members of staff would be retrained for different roles in case of overlapping.

“Staff will be retrained for new roles where there are overlaps, one of the branches can be converted to an e-branch or Automated Teller Machine gallery,’’ he added.

Mr Robert Giles, in charge of Retail, Diamond Bank said that integration of both banks had commenced for seamless service delivery.

 

Giles said that ATMs of both banks could be used by customers at no cost, noting that they were committed at taking costs away from customers.

Access Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, at a joint news conference recently said it had already finalised terms and obtained regulatory approvals for a Tier II capital issuance to raise $250m available for draw down in January 2019.

He said that the bank had also obtained “No Objection’’ from the CBN to undertake a Rights Issue to raise up to N75bn or $207m in the first half of 2019.

Wigwe said that shareholder approvals and other regulatory approvals to that effect would be obtained before the offer opens.

He noted that the fund raising exercise would accelerate the capital management plan to support retail growth previously set out in the bank’s five-year strategy.

Wigwe said that the bigger entity was ready to absorb the staff of Diamond Bank at the completion of the deal by end of Jun, without any disengagement.

 

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E-Financial

Zenith Bank Excites Customers with Account Blocking Code

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Zenith Bank has introduced Account Blocking code 966911#, which now allows customers who suspect their accounts have been compromised, or who lost/misplaced their debit (ATM) cards to dial the Block Account Code on the phone numbers registered with the account to secure their funds.

 

This has become necessary as the bank plays deeper into the retail end of the banking industry, using its top notch technology and array of innovative products as it works to deepen financial inclusion in conjunction with regulators of the nation’s financial system regulators.

 

Other codes as part of the Eazy Way banking offered by Zenith Bank include the 966# to ease account opening process by potential customers; while checking account balance has never been easier than dialing *96600#.

 

Customers who desire to reset their Personal Identification Number (PIN), or Password, the bank continued, can do so from the comfort of their homes with 96660#.

 

To update Bank Verification Number (BVN), the statement said customers can dial 966BVN#; and dial 966AmountMobileNo.# to buy airtime. By dialing 966AmountAccountNo.# for funds transfers.

 

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