The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed banks and other financial institutions to settle customers complaints on issues of overcharge, unauthorised deductions and other matters within two weeks.
The CBN Head of Complaints Management Division, Tajudeen Ahmed, made the disclosure in an interview on Thursday with newsmen in Abuja.
Ahmed said the CBN would ensure that bank customers get a redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawals.
He reiterated the apex bank’s commitment to eradicating excess and arbitrary charges.
According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular on its website, showing all legitimate bank charges; any charge outside what is stated in the circular is not allowed.
“The consumer protection department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt.
“Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint.
“If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria to the complaint,” he said.
Ahmed advised customers with unresolved complaints to contact the CBN by writing to the Director Consumer Protection Department or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dissatisfied bank customers are to visit any branch of the CBN closest to them to make their complaints.
He said, “The CBN continually engages the banks to find out if their conduct and practices are fair to their customers in order to stimulate people’s confidence in the banking system.
“Non-adherence to such rules normally results in regulatory sanctions, as the case may be.”
Ahmed also faulted banks for setting a limit on ATM withdrawals.
“I have observed this trend; it wasn’t like this at first. Over time, we started having this problem.
“One of the reasons is that the quantum of N500 denomination is much more than that of N1,000 denomination.
“When we approached the banks about these problems, they said the machines become easily faulty when it is set to dispense up to N30,000 to N40,000 units.
“However, CBN has directed that the machines that allow payment of up to N30,000 to N50,000 should be installed.
“This is still ongoing. The Banking and Payment Department of the CBN is championing it,” he said.