Banks deny hoarding new naira notes

…as ASSBIFI condemns attacks on banks, staff

Nigerian banks have denied hoarding the new naira notes as they empathise with the Nigerian public on the unintended hardships being faced in the process of the ongoing rollout of re-designed naira notes and enhanced cashless policy.

Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) said this in a statement signed by Rasheed Bolarinwa, president, ACAMB.

“There is no doubt that the unintended constraints in the withdrawal of old naira notes and circulation of new naira notes, alongside the national policy to enhance cashless transactions, have had unintended effects on the generality of the Nigerian populace, ” the statement said.

This is also as the Association of Senior Staff of Banks and other Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), at the weekend, condemned attacks on banks and staff as a result of the naira scarcity.

ASSBIFI, in a statement by Olusoji Oluwole, its president,also said that bank staff were not saboteurs as being insinuated by the public.

According to the statement, Nigerian banks are currently working with the CBN to ensure that customers have access to cash through ATMs and other channels as well as Over-The-Counter (OTC) in the banking halls.

“ACAMB affirms that without any equivocation that banks are not in any way hoarding or holding back naira notes or engaging in any act inimical to our avowed commitment to exciting customer experience. ATMs are being loaded every day and cash is being paid as provided by the CBN, as regularly being checked by CBN inspectors and other regulators including anti-graft agencies.”

In the past few hours, the statement said banks have taken additional measures to quicken the flow of naira notes. These measures, among others, include deployment of extra technical supports for online payments, additional security at ATMs to ensure all-clock usage, technological back-up to reduce online downtime to the barest minimum, additional staff deployment to counters to attend to cash transactions and timely interbank and inter-branch networking to bridge any gap.

“We are confident that these measures, in addition to efforts by the regulatory CBN, will result in greater ease of access and cash liquidity. The Federal Government and the CBN have reiterated similar readiness to address any constraint in the cyclical flow, including making adjustments, where necessary. ACAMB urges Nigerian banking public to exercise patience and not to resort to any untoward behaviour against Bank staff or banking facilities,” the statement said.

The statement further said that the cashless policy is generally in line with the yearnings of the most Nigerians for the elimination of corrupt practices in financial transactions, adequate security and improvements in law enforcements and general integrity of the wealth creation process. As shown by global evidence, cashless policy helps in curbing crimes such as; kidnapping, banditry and official sleaze, among others.

According to the statement, Nigerian banks have invested an estimated total sum in excess of N100 billion in setting up and maintaining cutting-edge electronic channels over the past few years as part of ongoing commitment to seamless customer experience and real time digital financial transactions. From internet banking to mobile apps, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sales (PoS) merchants, mobile wallets, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes, agents and digital franchises among others; not less than 80 per cent of Nigerians now enjoy one form of digital or cashless transaction or another, powered by investments by Nigerian banks.