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Senate investigates Nigerian banks over ATM, SMS, and maintenance charges

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Sequel to increasing complaints by several bank customers over alleged high charges and exploitation by Nigerian banks, the Nigerian senate has taken a pragmatic step towards addressing the issue.

In response to the perceived need of addressing the highlighted challenges capable of limiting the quest to achieve a financially inclusive economy, Senator Patrick Moro moved a motion to address these complaints. In response, the Senate urged its Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions to investigate the alleged illicit and excess bank charges by commercial banks operating in the country.

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In addition, it also asked the CBN to address the complaints and downwardly review the charges on all bank accounts, as a panacea to the alleged exploitations.

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Senator Moro emphasized that the alleged exploitation ranges from; constant charges and deductions from bank SMS charges, intra-bank transfer charges in the sum of N52.59, ATM card renewal charges, and account maintenance charges in the sum of N93.13.

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Commenting on the motive behind his motion, Moro remarked that, “These charges being deducted from customers’ accounts by banks, have caused an uproar within the public as Nigerians have expressed their dissatisfaction and displeasure over such excessive deductions, which they feel are fraudulent and targeted at further impoverishing Nigerians.”


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He recalled that in April 2017, the CBN revised the card maintenance charges in the new guide released, from N100 annually to N50 monthly.

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He continued, “Thus, bank customers in Nigeria will pay not less than N1.46bn to banks as card maintenance charges every month, totaling about N17.54bn in a year.

“Nigerian banks in a bid to further extort customers have set most of their ATM machines to dispense cash below the maximum sum of N40,000 that ATMs are programmed to dispense per transaction.

READ MORE: CBN slashes ATM withdrawal fee, others, imposes N2 million fine on Banks

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The customers using the ATMs do not have a choice than to withdraw much lesser amounts per transaction; thereby, incurring the additional cost of N65 per transaction after using another bank’s ATM machines beyond three times.”

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Recall that Nairametrics in an earlier article disclosed that CBN had recovered on behalf of customers over N60 billion excessive charges imposed on them by defaulting banks.