• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Group seeks reduction in bank charges

Group seeks reduction in bank charges

The Money Deserves Better (MDBM) Movement, a group of bank customers in Nigeria has called on banks to reduce transaction charges and raise the Return on Investment (RoI) value they provide to customers.

The MDBM team kicked off the campaign following reports that bank fees and commissions’ income surged by 17.5 percent to N365 billion in the first quarter of 2023, according to a statement on Monday.

“Despite the significant increase in banks’ revenue, the interest earned on high-interest savings accounts averages four to five percent per annum,” it said.

It said such returns on investment are meagre compared to the current inflation rate in Nigeria (24.03 percent), thereby providing negative returns between what the banks pay as interest and the inflation rate.

“It is about time we speak up for our money. Our money deserves more. When we save, we want to know that we will get a higher interest rate, for choosing to save rather than spend. We want easy access to better investment opportunities. Therefore, we have taken to the streets to campaign for our money,” the group added.

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According to Bamise Lucas, one of the members at MDBM, their ultimate goal is to encourage more individuals to join this financial revolution meant to improve the offerings and benefits of financial services to customers.

“As part of our objectives, there is a call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to consider reducing the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR). Such a move would have a positive impact on the interest rates offered by banks, making savings more attractive to account holders,” he said.

He added to pushing for a drop in the MPR, the movement is also urging banks to increase the annual interest rates on savings accounts.

Sarah Ola, public relations officer at MDBM, said the step would incentivise more people to save their money in banks and see better returns on their investments.

“We are also advocating for a reduction in the costs associated with using electronic channels for transactions. Lower transaction charges would encourage more Nigerians to adopt digital methods of payment, thereby enhancing financial inclusion and efficiency,” Ola said.

He advised investors to explore alternative investment opportunities in other companies licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which could even provide higher returns than banks.

“The SEC serves as the regulatory body overseeing financial market activities in Nigeria, ensuring transparency, fairness, and proper regulation.”

The movement also seeks to challenge a common misconception among Nigerians that major banks with well-known names automatically guarantee better returns and security for their money.