• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Fraudulent charges: CBN recovers N8.6bn for customers

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  Between May 29, 2012 and March 31, 2013, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recovered a total of N8.6 billion as excess bank charges that were fraudulently collected from customers by deposit money banks (DMBs) in the country.

The CBN also within the 10-month period received about 2, 800 complaints bordering on excess charges, conversion, and frauds.

Umma Dutse, CBN’s deputy director, consumer protection department, who announced this in Abuja added that as part of the sanctions for such infractions, some of the banks had been fined N2 million each.

“So far, the department has received and treated over 2,800 complaints from consumers against deposit money banks as at end of first quarter of 2013. We have also recovered more than N8.6 billion in favour of various consumers.

“These figures that I have just mentioned exclude complaints that have to do with Automated Teller Machine and electronic related complaints and also complaints from other financial institutions like the microfinance institutions, the primary mortgage. It’s just complaints against deposit money banks”, Dutse told journalists in Abuja.

Dutse said it was necessary for the apex bank to sanction some banks for the regulatory violation as she informed that the banks are compelled by the regulation to indicate in their annual financial statement all these breaches.

She assured that the apex bank would continue to ensure fair treatment for all players in the financial services sector as well as inculcate ethical practices among financial service providers in their relationship with consumers.

She argued that most Nigerians still remain financially excluded due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of financial products and services and that financial literacy would go a long way in addressing the challenge.

“…Even if all necessary structures are put in place to make financial products and services available and affordable, there is a compelling need to create awareness and proper understanding that engenders trust and confidence in the use of these products and services”, she maintained.

The consumer protection department of the CBN was created in May 2012 to promote consumer confidence in the banking industry. Its roles include advocacy, enlightenment, education and promotion of awareness among consumers in the industry.

 

ONYINYE NWACHUKWU