The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has proposed a N100 monthly charge on debit cards (the typical ATM cards used) in Nigeria. This is separate from the existing N65 charge after the third withdrawal within the same month.
For naira dominated cards, a monthly maintenance fee of N100 was also proposed for every month a debit card is used, and a N50 charge for other months when card is not used.
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Majority of bank transactions are done using ATM cards via the automated teller machine, and online banking. This charge may seem minimal to some bank users, but to the average Nigerian who struggles to maintain a savings account balance of less than N20,000, this soon-to-be monthly charge of N100 would be a huge maintenance cost on some accounts.
Meanwhile, in its draft on the “guide to charges for banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria,” the apex bank also proposed a N4,200-per-annum charge on foreign currency denominated cards as maintenance fee. The central bank also added that Nigerians could send in their comments on the proposed charges, seeking clarification and notifying the bank on excluded financial institutions. There may be a reconsideration of the implementation of this service charge.
The bank also added,
“Kindly send hard copies of your comments by March 29, 2016 to the director, financial policy and regulation department with soft copies mailed to [email protected].”
Meanwhile, prior to now, the CBN has received series of complaints from customers of Deposit Money Banks (commercial banks) alleging excessive charges from their respective banks. The bank reiterated that the Revised Guide to Bank Charges clearly specified allowable charges for all banking services, warning that it would not tolerate banks who ride on customers’ investments in the guise of service charge.
The CBN has also asked banks’ customers to report cases of excessive, and in some cases illegal, charges by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs). Bank Customers are urged to also forward their complaints to the director, Consumer Protection Department through this email – [email protected]