CBN refunds N6.8bn excess charges to retail bank customers


Central Bank of Nigeria Picture.jpg

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, disclosed that commercial banks have refunded N6.8 billion excess charges to their customers in the first half of 2018 (H1’18), the Vanguard reports.

The apex bank disclosed this in its half year, 2018 economic review report.

The CBN report showed that the N6.8 billion excess charges refunded in H1’18 was 6.0 percent lower when compared to N7.21 billion returned to customers in H1’17.

“The Bank received 1,439 complaints from consumers of financial services in H1’18, compared with the 1,141 in the corresponding period of 2017,” CBN noted in the report, adding that the complaints were, mainly, in respect of excess charges, frauds, dishonored guarantees and unauthorized deductions/ transfers, among others.

“A total of 2,451 complaints, including those outstanding from 2017, were resolved in the review period, compared with 1,270 complaints resolved in the corresponding period of 2017,” CBN added.

“Total claims in the review period in local and foreign currencies amounted to N20.5 billion, $163,479.00, £2,889.98 and €32.82, compared with N14.72 billion, $2.42 million and €6,940.00, in the corresponding period of 2017.

“The sum of N6.80 billion, $119,349, £2,889.98 and €32.82 were refunded by financial institutions to their customers, compared with the sum of N7.21 billion, $2.40 million and €6,940.00, refunded in the corresponding period of 2017.”

The compliance examination was conducted on 21 banks in H1’18, to ascertain their level of compliance with consumer protection regulations, particularly the Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions (GCBOFI). The exercise revealed 100.0 per cent compliance in the areas of outward telegraph/SWIFT and related charges of 0.5 per cent, current account maintenance fee charges on savings account and validation of refunds.

“Compliance levels in other areas were: interest rate on executed offer letters (95.3 percent); directives issued after the last examination and other directives (90.0 percent); application of SMS charges (52.4 percent); and outstanding complaints (22.6 percent). Overall, the examination revealed improvement in the compliance level in most areas, while the CBN directed banks to implement specific remedial actions, including refunds to customers, where applicable, in areas of non-compliance,” CBN explained.