The Senate on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to investigate the alleged illicit and excess charges by commercial banks in the country.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by a former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro.
Consequently, the senate urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to work towards reviewing the charges downward in the interest of Nigerians.
In his presentation, Moro said the upper legislative chamber had become concerned following several complaints from Nigerians over illicit and excessive bank charges on their accounts.
According to him, the charges and deductions include bank SMS charges, intra-bank transfer charges in the sum of N52.59 Kobo, ATM card renewal charges, and account maintenance charges of N93.13 kobo.
He said the CBN had in April 2017 revised the card maintenance charges from N100 annually to N50 monthly.
The senator said: “These charges being deducted from customers’ accounts by banks have caused uproar within the public as Nigerians have expressed their dissatisfaction and displeasure over such excessive deductions which they feel are fraudulent and targeted at further impoverishing Nigerians.
“According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, the Central database for banking transactions in the country showed that as at September 30, 2016, there were 29.4 million active cards being used by the 63 million active bank customers.
“Thus, bank customers in Nigeria will pay not less than N1.462 billion to banks as card maintenance charges every month, totaling about N17.544 billion in a year.
“Questions are being asked by Nigerians as to what the money being deducted for the charges is for as countries overseas do not charge their customers in like manner.
“Nigerian banks in a bid to further extort customers have set most of their ATM machines to dispense cash below the maximum sum of N40,000 that ATMs are programmed to dispense per transaction.
“These customers using the Automated Teller Machines do not have a choice than to withdraw much lesser amounts per transaction thereby incurring the additional cost of N65 per transaction after using another bank’s ATM machines beyond three times.”
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