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CBN slams banks N2m fine for unapproved charges

Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters, Abuja

Isola Moses

Following reported cases of obvious unfair transactions with consumers of financial products and services in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged banks and other financial institutions to adhere strictly to the Guide to Bank Charges directives, or face a penalty of N2million per infraction henceforth.

The CBN, on Sunday, December 22, 2019, had released a 76-page circular to all banks, financial and non-bank financial institutions in respect of the application of charges offered to customers.

The revised guide to charges by banks, according the Apex Bank, takes effect January 1, 2020.

The Bankers’ Bank in a tweet has restated the penalty for banks who fail to comply with the directives, in order to prevent excess, unapproved or arbitrary charges on consumers’ financial transactions.

“To guard against excess, unapproved or arbitrary charges by banks and other financial institutions, the Guide to Bank Charges stipulates a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time for financial institutions that breach any provision of the guide.”

The statement further stated that another N2million daily fine will be charged on any erring banks if they fail to comply with the earlier sanction.

“The guide also emphasises that failure by any bank to comply with CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N2,000,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.

“In order to ensure that banks actually attend to every customer’s complaints, CBN has directed banks to log every complaint received from their customers into the Consumer Complaints Management System (CCMS) in addition to generating a unique reference code for each complaint lodged, which must be given to the customer.

“CBN has also warned that failure to log and provide the code to the customer will amount to a breach and is sanctionable with a penalty of N1,000,000 per breach,” it added.

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