The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has now directed all financial institutions in the country to henceforth settle all of their customers’ complaints within a two-week period.
CBN’s Head of Complaints Management Division Mr Tajudeen Ahmed disclosed this during an interview while reiterating the apex bank’s commitment to helping bank customers get quicker redress on issues such as unauthorised deductions and excessive bank charges.
Speaking further, Ahmed disclosed that the CBN has since released a circular containing all the legitimate deductions that can be made on bank customers’ accounts, stressing that any illegal charges will no longer be tolerated.
The consumer protection department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt.
Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint.
“If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of Central Bank of Nigeria to the complaint.
Bank customers whose complaints are unresolved after two weeks can contact the Central Bank’s Director of Consumer Protection Department via email; [email protected]
Establishing the kingship of customers
The term ‘Customer is king’ has been eroded by most Nigerian banks. While they are notorious for their excessive charges and illegal deductions from customers’ accounts, complaints are seldom given the quick attention and redress that they deserve.
A lot of Nigerians had this sort of experience and they eventually become wary of lodging complaints even as the problem persists. However, this directive may be the potential solution to the problem.
Can the directive put an end to the problem?
There may be concerns as to how far this directive will go towards addressing the problem of excessive charges/illegal deductions. Recall that this has been a long-standing problem in the Nigerian financial services industry, and the CBN has in the past made efforts to recover and put an end to excessive charges from banks but it did not yield any definite result. The important thing, however, is that the CBN has recognised this as the serious problem that it is, and are therefore making efforts towards putting an end to it. Hopefully it will yield result this time around.