- Many Nigerians are not aware that their bank accounts which they have left dormant may be debited by their banks
- Customers have reported how their accounts, which they left dormant for years have been found to have accumulated huge sums
- Experts have asked that customers deactivate rather abandon their bank accounts to avoid incurring unwanted debts
Many Nigerians will be shocked to discover that their bank accounts which they think are dormant and left unattended to are being debited by their banks on a regular basis.
Recently, Legit.ng got a plethora of information from readers who said that they found out to their dismay that their banks are debiting their dormant accounts, despite having not operated the accounts for years.
Account abandoned for nine years accumulates N30,000 debts
In one incident, a Legit.ng reader said that he abandoned his bank account with a popular bank in Nigeria (name withheld) for eight years, just before depositors were asked to link their accounts to their National Identity Number (NIN), and when he went to reactivate the account, he discovered that the account has accumulated debts running into thousands.
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He said having abandoned the account in 2013 because he travelled abroad, he came back to link it to NIN and discovered there is about N30,000 debt on it.
When he took it up with the bank, he was told that he had to clear the debts in order to continue operating the account.
“I was actually surprised to see that the account I abandoned and actually told the bank to deactivate is still active and accumulating debts on my behalf.
“I tried drawing the attention of the bank to the fact that I actually requested in writing that the account be closed, what I got from the bank was that they could not locate my letter and that the management has changed over time."
The respondent who asked that his identity be concealed asked depositors to try and check with their banks from time to time to know if there is anything fishy going on with their accounts.
Expert proffer solution
An ex-banker, Justin Ofor said that when accounts go into dormancy, it does not mean it is non-existent. It is just that there is no activity going on with the account.
“When customers abandon their accounts, it means their accounts are in existence and the banks can charge for various things like maintenance, SMS, emails and so on. So, what a customer should do in that case is try to drop a small change into the accounts from time to time."
According to Ofor, the banks are in business and keeping an account with them is like renting an apartment where you are still a tenant. It does not matter if you live in the place or not. As long as the apartment is in your name, you will continue to pay rent.
Top savings platforms paying higher interest Rates than banks in Nigeria
Legit.ng has reported that the Nigerian financial industry landscape is laced with interesting options, most of which give users the ability to make a choice that allows them optimal use.
While some banks in Nigeria are paying higher interest to depositors for saving money with them, others are just there to make profits and post interesting figures at the end of their financial year.
The minimum interest rate approved by a regulatory agency like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is 1.5 per cent.