- In an open letter to CBN traders in the southeast has questioned various charges by commercial banks on their account
- The traders believe some of the charges and deductions are illegal calling on CBN to investigate and make it stop
- Accountant maintenance fees, deposit and withdrawal fees, and different electronic charges are examples of bank fees.
South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have written to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into commercial banks' multiple and indiscriminate charges and deductions on customers' account.
The Igbo traders raised this concern in an open letter addressed to the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele obtained by Legit.ng
The traders complained that the financial oppression depositors and account operators were going through have become unbearable.
According to the traders, most of the transactions the banks charge the customers were the social responsibility of the banks, decrying that the banks make deductions and charges for virtually every transaction ranging from deposits to even confirmation of signature.
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The sun reports that the traders listed some of the unexplainable charges to include confirmation of signature and deposit charges.
SEAMATA’s letter which was signed by Chief Gozie Akudolu and Mr Alex Okwudiri, President-General and Secretary respectively, reads in part:
“We are directed to formally bring to your notice the indiscriminate act of financial oppression which our members and all depositors and operators of bank accounts experience on a daily basis from commercial banks through indiscriminate charges and deductions.”
“Part of the major responsibilities of the commercial banks, we know, is to accept money deposits from customers and keep safe custody of the same and perform such other transactions for and as directed by the customer through various bank instruments.
“Most of the transactions, we also know, are the social responsibility of the banks. But today, the banks make deductions and charges for virtually every transaction ranging from deposits to even confirmation of signature.
The traders praised the CBN cashless economy policy as it has curtailed to the barest minimum armed robbery attacks of members leading to loss of fortunes and even lives.
However, they argued that commercial banks are turning themselves into becoming “sippers” to bank customers through the indiscriminate charges and deductions especially in online transactions.
One Igbo trader Emeka Izeze question why a bank should deduct N75 as charges for a transfer of N200.
“When a customer makes an online transfer of funds, the transferor is charged a certain amount of money deducted from his/her account and the recipient’s account is also charged and deductions made for receiving the money.
“In addition, charges and deductions are also made for SMS, which most of the time were not received. Finally, at intervals, charges and deductions will be made on the same account as the service charges.
“Sir, the banks are pressing our necks real hard and we are financially choking. Our members had individually approached the banks to complain but without success.
“Our only alternative is to bring our plight and indeed, the plight of all bank customers to your knowledge and most humbly and respectfully appeal that you prevail on the banks to please have compassion on the customers and stop forthwith the indiscriminate charges and deductions and if possible, refund all the deductions.
“The association has decided to go through your office for the resolution of this matter instead of besieging the bank offices with protesters which is far from what our nation needs now.”
10 banks remove N48.5 billion from customers' accounts as charges for maintenance
In a related story, ten commercial banks generated about N48.5billion from maintaining customers’ accounts in the first six months of the year.
This is according to an investigation conducted by Legit.ng which reveals 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.
Account maintenance costs are levied on all customer-initiated debit transactions, and the bank collects these fees at the time of the transaction