Nigerians have reacted badly to hidden charges invented by some banks to outwit and steal customers’ money at will. The latest outcry has seen complaints from people affected by the malpractice.
According to an investigations carried out by Daily Sun, it revealed that in a bid to make profit, some banks have continued to defy the directive on the cancellation of Cost of Transaction (CoT) by the Central Bank.
The report indicates that over 747 complaints against some banks in the country, involving the sum of N8.09 billion were received by the Central Bank of Nigeria between January-June 2015.
This was contained in the apex bank’s financial report recently released. In the report, CBN stated that this statistics represented 4.48 per cent drop from the previous complaints it received in the first half of 2014.
The apex bank also added that during the period, a total of 481 cases, which included some outstanding ones, were resolved. Revealing further the shortchanging tactics of the banks, the report states that the charges, in no particular order, include the maintenance fees, which some banks are now charging monthly on current accounts and Value added tax on virtually every transaction by the customer, including SMS.
There are charges for transfers both online and over the counter, Remote-on-us (charges incurred for using other banks’ ATM in withdrawing money more than three times in a month) and recently introduced stamp duties charge.
Banks, besides charging card maintenance fee, have also reviewed upwards the cost of acquiring N600 to N1000, with VAT charge afterwards.
Some of the bank customers have said the charges are unwarranted and a ploy to swindle customers. One of the customers said this about the charges. She said: “I didn’t notice the deductions until a few weeks ago when I went to make a deposit into my account. I saw my account balance and began to make enquiries. They said the deductions started this year and I wasn’t alone. So many other customers in the banking hall that day were furious,”
Despite the directive from the CBN about not making deductions for the use of ATMs, banks have continued to charge for email alerts, account balance, SMS, ATM usage and another N1,000 for maintenance. Bank customers believe the Central Bank and its governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele will come to the rescue their rescue before the banks steal all their money.