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How Zenith, UBA, 2 others failed to resolve 171,642 consumer complaints 2021: Report

Photo Collage: Zen Magazine Africa/Twitter

*Analysis of the 171,642 consumer complaints submitted to Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust, United Bank for Africa and Access Bank between January and December 31, 2021, showed the banks failed to refund to affected customers N192.1billion in claims from complaints they received

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Analysis of the financial reports of four Nigerian banks, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Limited, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Access Bank Plc, has indicated these financial institutions did not attend to a total of 171,642 consumer complaints made between January and December 31, 2021.

The total amount claimed in the complaints was N196.2 billion, but the banks refunded a total of N4.1 billion to their customers, The ICIR report stated.

The report also showed this implies the banks failed to refund to their affected customers a total of N192.1 billion in claims from complaints they received.

Further breakdown of the total unresolved complaints by the four banks indicated that  for the period under review, Access Bank received a total of 2.2million customer complaints with claims of a total of N193 billion.

The bank failed to resolve 85,212 complaints and refunded N3.7billion to its customers within the 2021 financial year.

As regards Zenith Bank, out of a total of 307,537 complaints received from customers, 82,415 were not resolved.

The bank’s customers claimed had N35.2 million in their complaints, but the financial institution refunded only N7.01 million.

In its 2021 financial report, GTB recorded a total of 673,772 customer complaints involving claims of N3.09 billion, but the bank refunded only N7 million to affected consumers.

UBA had disclosed in its annual report for 2021 that it received a total of 464,391 complaints, with 461,162 cases resolved within the period.

However, UBA’s customers claimed had also N71.2 million, but the bank refunded only N3.5 million.

The bank further disclosed that 3,370 complaints remain pending while 38 were escalated to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for regulatory intervention.

Recall the CBN introduced the consumer protection regulation in 2019 to provide guidelines for banks to deal with customer complaints.

The regulatory framework is aimed at checking unethical and predatory practices that undermine consumer confidence in the use of financial products and services in Nigeria.

The regulations were also designed to tackle the provision of inadequate and misleading information and/or failure to disclose material information; by ensuring access to complaints redress mechanisms that are “free, fair, timely, transparent, accessible and independent” among others.

In spite of these consumer protection policies and regulations, commercial banks have continued to record a high rate of unresolved complaints, report said.

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