The new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regime of banking charges against customers for services rendered is expected to start today, January 1st, 2020.
The apex bank had instructed banks to slashed withdrawal fees usually charged after the third withdrawal from Automated Teller Machines (ATM) within the same month.
In the new directive contained in the new Guide to Bank Charges, the CBN stated that the withdrawal fee charged for the use of other banks’ ATM has been reduced from N65 to N35.
Card maintenance fee has been reviewed to N50 every three month (quarterly), from the initial monthly period. The guide released by the CBN contains major changes on electronic transactions’ charges in Nigeria.
A graduated fee scale for electronic transfers to replace the current flat fee of N50 will begin, as transfers below N10,000 will attract a maximum charge of N10; and transfers above N50,000, N50.
Card maintenance fee on the current account has been removed as the accounts already attract maintenance fees.
Savings accounts will now attract a card maintenance fee of N50 per quarter (three months) from N50 per month. Yearly card maintenance fee on foreign currency denominated cards is reduced to $10 from $20.
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The charge for hardware token will be on a cost-recovery basis subject to a maximum of N2,500 from previous maximum charge of N3,500, while the fee for SMS mandatory alert will be on cost recovery from previous maximum charge of N4.
Bill payment via e-channels will attract a maximum charge of N500 from 0.75 per cent of the transaction value subject to a maximum of N1,200.
Fidelity, Union Bank, Wema comply
Some of the commercial banks have complied, as they have sent messages to their depositors in preparedness for January 1, 2020, commencement of the new charges, which cut nearly all applicable fees by the lenders significantly.
Some of them are Fidelity Bank, Union Bank, and Wema Bank. They have sent messages to customers, highlighting various aspects of the cut in the charges against customers for banking transactions, as well as affirming their readiness to comply with the rules.
Meanwhile, CBN had said that the revision of the Guide to Charges and strengthening of the Consumer Protection Regulation was necessitated by continued evolution in the financial industry over the past few years, which has spurred innovation and the introduction of new products, channels and/or participants.
Banks to pay N2 million on any breach
Following the new directives, the CBN stated that any Financial Institution that breaches any of the provisions as contained in the new guide will pay a penalty of N2 million per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.
It read, “Financial Institutions are to note that any breach of the provisions of this Guide carries a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.
“Failure 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.”