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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed downward digital transfer and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) charges in addition to card upkeep fees.
The new fees had been contained within the latest Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Establishments just released by the apex bank.
In accordance with CBN, financial institution customers will now pay N10 for digital/electronic transfers under N5,000, and N25 for digital transfer between N5,000 and N50,000. Only digital transfer above N50,000 will attract N50 cost.
Previously, financial institution customers pay N50 cost for digital transfers beneath N500,000.
Further, the CBN in the new Information to Bank Charges slashed prices for money withdrawal by way of Other financial institution’s ATM to “maximum of N35 after the third withdrawal inside the same month” from “N65 after the third withdrawal within the same month”.
The Nigeria’s apex financial institution also eliminated Card Maintenance Fee (CAMF) on all cards linked to current accounts, a maximum of 1 Naira per mille for customer induced debit transactions to 3rd parties and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ account in other banks on current accounts only,
Commenting on the new prices, Isaac Okorafor, the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, explained that the present NIP prices apply to make use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), buy with cash-back will attract a cost of N100 per N20,000 subject to cumulative N60,000 each day withdrawal. Additionally, for cards linked to financial savings account, an upkeep/Maintenance charge has been lowered to a maximum of N50 per quarter from N50 per 30 days amounting to only N200 each year instead of N600.
Moreover, he hinted that there will probably be no extra fees for reactivation or closure of accounts similar to financial savings, current and domiciliary accounts while status enquiry on the request of the customer (like confirmation letter, letter of non-indebtedness and reference letter) will now attract a charge of N500 per request.
On Current Account Maintenance Fee (CAMF), the Information expressly acknowledged that this may be relevant only to current accounts in respect of customer-induced debit transactions to 3rd parties and debit transfers/lodgments to the customer’s account in another financial institution. It emphasised that CAMF is not applicable to Financial savings Accounts.
Based on the Director, the CBN carried out the overview of the Guide, which additionally prescribes charges permissible for Other Financial Establishments and non-bank financial establishments, in an effort to align with market developments.
To protect against extra, unapproved or arbitrary charges by banks and other monetary establishments, the Guide stipulates a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction or as could also be decided by the CBN from time to time for financial institutions that breach any provision of the guide. The Guide additionally emphasised that failure by any financial institution to adjust to CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract an extra penalty of N2,000,000 each day till the directive is complied with or as could also be decided by the CBN from time to time.
Consequently, the CBN directed banks to log each grievance obtained from their clients into the Consumer Complaints Management System (CCMS) along with producing a unique reference code for every grievance lodged, which should be given to the customer. Failure to log and supply the code to the client, it added, amounts to a breach and is sanctionable with a penalty of N1,000,000 per breach.
The fees prescribed within the Guide were arrived at after extensive consultations with stakeholders and is predicted to reinforce flexibility, transparency and competitors within the Nigerian banking industry. Vanguard reports.
This Guide, which replaces the Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Monetary Institutions issued in 2017, takes effect from January 1, 2020, and perhaps reviewed from time to time to replicate modifications within the business environment.
The CBN, subsequently, urged monetary services providers and their clients alike to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Guide and be correctly guided accordingly.