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#Reform9jaBanks: Nigerians accuse banks of exploitative charges

Nigerians home and abroad are accusing Nigerian banks’ exploitative practices ranging from the deduction for card maintenance and electronic payments to double deduction of stipulated charges.

Using #Reform9jaBanks on the social media, they are campaigning for reforms. The campaign started on Monday.

It should be recalled that in 2017, The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced a N100 monthly maintenance fee for a naira dominated debit card in the country.

The apex bank also introduced N4,200 per annum charge on foreign currency denominated cards as maintenance fee and N50 charge on every cheque leaflet obtained and used.

Earlier this year, the CBN, said any bank that deducts money illegally from a customer’s account for products and services would be forced to refund the money to the customer with interest.

This directive was sequel to complaints by bank customers within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over excess charges by banks through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawals and other electronic mediums.

On Monday, some users took to social media to complain about the exploitative moves of their banks and clamour for the reform of Nigerian banks using the hashtag #Reform9ja.

A Nigerian and UK based medical doctor, who started the campaign, Harvey Olufunmilayo, lamented narrating the state of banks in Nigeria in comparison with banks in foreign countries.

“I have lived in the UK a few years now and NEVER has my bank ever charged me one penny for bank transfer. Never. Not (for) once!” he stated

Another Nigerian based in Qatar, Eniola @Henzyshso, stated that banks in Qatar don’t charge a dime from customers over the use of ATM in any bank, not too talk of double charges.

A university student, Uthman Samad explained that the United Bank of Africa (UBA) removed double ATM card maintenance fee from his account for almost a year.

Mr Samad said the charges were being deducted on a lost ATM card which he has deactivated and renewed a year ago.

According to him, the bank’s branch manager told him that the problem emanated from the deactivation of his lost card. The manager apologized afterwards without saying anything about the refund of the charges deducted.

Emere Ogechi @EmereOgechi, a student, tweeted how over one thousand naira was missing in her account.

“It’s painful!, my mum once sent me 5k on a Friday to buy a textbook, I had no ATM card yet so couldn’t withdraw, they kept on debiting me all through the weekend and by Monday only #3,900 was left. You should have seen me shouting for them to close the account.”

“I cannot count the number of times @wemabank had made me suffer this kinda heartbreak. Even when I don’t use the account for a month talk more getting alerts, they charge for SMS and other frivolities,” Agbede Adekunle @AgbedeAdekunleO retweeted.

Another bank user, Ife Mayowa @ifemayowa0771, stated;

“So I use @ZenithBank and every month I am being charged close to #165 to #200 for SMS alert. I went to tell them that I want to deactivate because I can’t be paying that much. I want to stick to email.”

However, some of the banks have reacted to the complaints of their customers telling them to send their details.

“Hello @AgbedeAdekunleO, We are however curious about the experience that has left you feeling this way. Please send your complaint via DM along with your account details so we could fix it,” Wema bank replied Mr Agbede Adekunle.

Also, Fidelity bank retweeted saying; “Based on the dynamics of the instant banking and the participants involved in the service protocol, the charges were reviewed and implemented for the sustenance of the service. Thank you. 2/2 #FidelityCares.”

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