- Account maintenance costs are levied on all customer-initiated debit transactions, and the bank collects these fees at the time of the transaction
- The amount debited is at least 10% of the total customers' deposits as at the end of June 30, 2021
- The Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to rethink and probe account maintenance fees
Ten commercial banks generated about N48.5billion from maintaining customers’ accounts in the first six months of the year, an investigation conducted by Legit.ng has revealed.
The banks in the prior six months of 2020 had raked N32.62 billion for account maintenance charges on customers’ savings, current and term deposits.
First Bank, United Bank of Africa, UBA, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Union Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Unity Bank, and Sterling Bank are the banks captured for this report.
Of the ten commercial banks between January to June, Zenith Bank recorded the highest debit for account maintenance; N14.47 billion from customers.
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Access bank comes next with customers paying N10.85 billion for account maintenance in six months under review.
First Bank made N7.95 billion on account of maintenance fees from its customers, while UBA also made N5.4 billion.
Sterling Bank made N1.34 billion for account maintenance fees, While FCMB removed N2.2 billion during the six months period.
Stanbic Bank and Union Bank customers paid N2.54 billion and N1.03 billion for account maintenance.
Wema Bank, Unity Bank respectively made N943.3 million, N850.8 million from their customers for maintaining their accounts.
Fidelity in its first quarter reported N899 million but yet to report its second-quarter result.
Top five Banks with the highest customers deposits as at June 2021
Legit.ng further investigation indicates that the top three banks in terms of customer deposits are UBA (N6.1 trillion), Access (N5.98 trillion), and Zenith Bank (N5.77 trillion).
This is followed by N5.08 trillion from the First Bank and N3.63 trillion from GTB.
During this time period, the banks with the highest profit margins were Zenith Bank which received N106.12 billion, Access Bank which received N86.94 billion, GTB which received N79.42 billion.
UBA also made N60.58 billion, and the first bank received N38.10 billion.
Bank Customers Association of Nigeria replies
The Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to investigate how banks debited their customers' accounts in 2018.
Sola Salako, then-President of the BCAN, characterized the account maintenance costs as a fraud, underlining that the CBN is aiding banks in generating money by doing nothing.
“We strongly oppose the CBN's account maintenance fees, which were implemented in 2016.” It's just another way for banks to take money from their customers while they do nothing. “In Nigeria, banks just charge for account maintenance,” she explained.
EFCC Tells Nigerian Banks to Query Their Customers’ Sources of Income
In a recent report, Nigerian banks have been urged to screen their potential customers to ensure that they are not recipients of slush funds.
EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa, tasked the banks to be more prudent and watchful when engaging new customers.
The financial institutions were also warned that where there are established cases of institutional complicity in the fraud, they will face the consequences