Stories by Blaise Udunze
FOLLOWING the ongoing controversy between commercial banks and customers over hidden and unexplained multiple charges, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed that it was reviewing its “Guide to Bank Charges.”
The periodic review is carried out to ensure that the provisions of the guide is in tandem with current realities and seeks to address complaints from consumers of financial services, request for clarification on the provisions of the guide and absence of tariff regime for other financial institutions.
The apex bank therefore wants stakeholders to send in their comments before March 29, 2016.
In a statement signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Mr. Kelvin Amugo, the banks said, “Guide to charges provides standards for the application of charges on the various types of products and services Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) in Nigeria offer to their customers, including individuals, corporate organisations and governments (federal, state, local and their agencies).
It stated that Commission on Turnover (COT) applies to customer-induced debit transactions on current accounts, stressing that banks should not charge COT on returned outward clearing cheques, reversal of transactions and all bank-induced debits.”
Recall that over 747 complaints against commercial banks in the country involving the sum of N8.09 billion were received by the CBN between January and June last year.
This was operators have continued to flout the apex bank’s directive of gradual phase-out of COT from N3 in 2013 to N2 in 2014 to N1 in 2015, and zero in 2016. This led Nigerians to declare March 1, 2016, a no-banking day to protest exorbitant deductions by banks.
For instance, as contained in the exposure draft that the rate for electronic funds transfer of N10 million is N60, banks have continued to charge about N105 for such services. The debit card issuance fee will now attract a one-off charge of N1,000, while debit card maintenance charges is N50 monthly, while annual maintenance fee for foreign currency dominated card is N4,200 per annum.
The apex bank in the statement explained that debits representing transfer to other accounts in the same name, in the same branch or at another branch of the same bank attracts no charges.
Bankers’ Committee marks Global Money Week 2016
AS part of its commitment to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria, and to commemorate Global Money Week 2016, the Bankers’ Committee, through its Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment Sub-Committee, has mapped out activities targeting primary and secondary school students. Global Money Week, which yesterday is expected to round off on March 20 as the Bankers’ Committee has designated March 17 as ‘Financial Literacy Day’.
The purpose of Global Money Week and Financial Literacy Day is to promote financial knowledge and fiscal planning skills in children and the youth. Planned activities to mark the week include visits by officials of all financial institutions in Nigeria to schools adopted by their institutions.
During the school visits, financial institutions’ CEOs/GMDs will teach selected students from the schools a module of a Financial Literacy curriculum specially designed by Junior Achievers – Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation focused on educating children on economic matters.
Individual financial institutions have also arranged for students to visit banking halls to observe day-to-day banking activities as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be organising a Child and Youth Finance Fair/Exhibition in Abuja to mark the week.
Speaking on the activities, Emeka Emuwa, Chair of the Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment Sub-committee and Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank Nigeria Plc said, “Financial Literacy is a key initiative in our effort to achieve financial inclusion in Nigeria.
It is important that citizens are knowledgeable in economic and financial matters. The Bankers’ Committee is committed to promoting Financial Literacy and enlightening the public in this area.”
The priorities and objectives of the sub-committee remain educating the public on financial literacy