Nigerian Senate summons Central Bank Boss over outrageous bank charges

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday resolved to investigate the illegal charges and deductions from accounts of customers by money deposit banks (MDB).

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by Senator Magnus Abe and 22 others, entitled, ‘Urgent Need to Investigate, Regularise and Amend Conflicting, Vague and Unjust Remedies, which the Central Bank of Nigeria Offers to Victims of Excessive and Arbitrary Bank Charges and Illegal Deductions by Commercial Banks.’

Abe, in his lead debate, said over the years, commercial banks in Nigeria have indulged in sharp practices of charging customers/depositors arbitrarily and excessively contrary to tariff stipulations, credit and monetary guidelines issued from time to time by the CBN.

He said: “If this trend is allowed to continue unabated, Nigerians will be worse for it, while the commercial banks will continue to declare huge profits at the expense of their customers including regular depositors and business firms.”

Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha, in his contribution, said stopping the arbitrary charges will go a long way in giving credibility to the fight against corruption.

“If we do not fight this, we will just do eye service to the fight against corruption. These sharp practices going on in commercial banks must stop. We need to act fast in the interest of Nigerians. This motion deserves more than a resolution,” he said.

As part of its resolutions, The Senate also directed committee on Banking to conduct a public hearing to resolve and amend laws, rules, and guidelines that do not protect customers and provide them with substantial remedies when overcharged.

Dino Melaye, while speaking on the motion, accused banks of intentionally withholding monies of dead people, by refusing to contact their next of kins.

He said: “Illegal deductions from banks are happening every day. These small illegal deductions and arbitrary hidden charges happen everyday. We need to have a public hearing, where Nigerians and experts can come and speak on the issue. Because of secrecy, many next of kins do not know that they are next in line for any inheritance.

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