Commercial banks in the country refunded about ₦654 million which was illegally deducted from accounts linked to the Federal Government of Nigeria. This was disclosed in the March report of Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
In the report, the NBS stated that the refunded amount was an excess charge which was removed from the statutory allocation of ₦647.39 billion disbursed in March to governments at the Federal, States and Local Government levels.
Meanwhile, Mr Uju Ogbunka, the President of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria has reacted to the development, describing it as a continuation of the prevalent problem of banks’ excessive charges to their customers. In his opinion, this latest development is enough to really prompt all the regulatory authorities to impose the right sanctions on the erring banks.
This confirms the fears and agonies that bank customers have been passing through, and we have been complaining but nobody seems to be interested in listening to us, let alone do something. Now that it has hit the government account perhaps they will now know that all the complaints are real, and take action to stop this unwholesome practice.
Why this matters
The problem of excessive bank charges has become commonplace in the Nigerian banking sector. Ever so often, disappointed bank customers lodge complaints about excessive bank deductions. Unfortunately, their complaints have seldom been attended to.
Recall that the apex bank earlier this year issued a directive requiring all financial institutions in the country to rectify their customers’ complaints within a two-week period. Unfortunately, this directive has done very little or nothing at all to change the trend. Therefore, it is a good thing that the government has also had an experience of the situation and taken swift action towards resolving it. Perhaps now, the banks will finally desist from this unwholesome practice. Should in case the problem persist, however, the government will finally start taking swift action towards resolving it.
In all, bank customers should always protect their money by constantly cross-checking their bank statements in order to ensure that no excessive charges or any form of illegal transactions have taken place. In the event that such has occurred, they should lodge complaints and follow through until their cases are resolved.