Access, Zenith, Other Banks Set to Make Changes to Savings Accounts as CBN Takes Special Action

Access, Zenith, Other Banks Set to Make Changes to Savings Accounts as CBN Takes Special Action

  • Commercial banks are poised to respond to CBN’s latest action by effecting corresponding changes to savings accounts
  • It is believed that the banks will raise their interest rates on savings accounts in the next quarter
  • The development comes as the CBN hiked the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 200 basis points to 24.75%’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment and the economy for over a decade.

Commercial banks in Nigeria are expected to effect critical changes on customers’ savings accounts in the coming quarter to hedge them from being eroded by inflation.

Nigeria’s inflation rate hit an all-time high in February 2024, at 31.70%, one of the highest in Africa.

Banks to effect changes on savings
Commercial banks expected to announce changes to savings accounts. People in the image are not related to the story, only for illustration. Credit: Bloomberg/Contributor
Source: UGC

CBN intervenes to save bank customers

Analysts say the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will take critical steps in protecting customers' funds from inflation by raising the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), the second since Olayemi Cardoso, CBN’s boss, assumed office.

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Financial analyst and business editor at the Nigerian Xpress newspaper, Emeka Okoroanyanwu, commended the apex bank’s decision to raise the benchmark MPR to protect funds saved in Nigerian banks.

He said the move is expected as various sectors in the country are bleeding as inflation takes its toll on operations.

“We knew the CBN would intervene yet again as it has done in the Forex markets. The bank’s actions are being felt across the markets, especially the FX market, where the naira is gaining the upper hand against the US dollar."

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, CBN announced an increase in the MPR, raising it by 200 basis points to 24.75% at the end of its 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

The latest hike is a sequel to the 400 basis points of 22.75% announced in the previous month.

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The latest move is the highest the apex bank has raised the MPR to reaffirm its aggressive posture on monetary tightening against inflationary pressure.

CBN's action to mount pressure on inflation

Okoroanyanwu believes the measure will mount pressure and reduce lending by banks as customers might tame their borrowing appetites.

“But I am sure the real and manufacturing sector will bear the brunt of the latest move by CBN as loans will now become expensive,” he said.

Nigerians have complained of the impact of inflation, especially food inflation, on living standards across the country.

In a recent report, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that Nigerians paid more for food, gas, petrol, and other things, which affected their income.

Banks send messages on transaction alternatives had reported that Nigerian banks were severely affected by the damaged submarine cables in Ghana, causing internet outages in parts of West Africa.

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The damaged cables, which happened on Thursday, March 14, 2024, affected subsea cable providers and disrupted internet traffic in most parts of Africa.

Reports say the damage affected major undersea cables near Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, also affecting submarine communications cables, including the West Africa Cable System (WACS), the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), MainOne, and SAT3.


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