WORRIED by excess bank charges and illegal deductions by commercial banks in the country, the Senate, yesterday, summoned the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele; his officials, forensic auditors, Managing Directors of banks and Bankers Committee to give detailed accounts of why such issues were on.
Consequently, it mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, led by Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South) to organise a public hearing for the purpose of harmonising and amending laws, rules and guidelines that do not adequately protect the customers and give them substantial remedy when overcharged.
It also urged the government to proactively protect customer’s rights, eradicate short payments of interest and end the culture of excess and arbitrary bank charges.
According to the Senate, these steps, if taken, will reposition the banks in the country to avert a recurrence.
The resolutions of the Senate, co-sponsored by 22 other senators, were sequel to a motion by Senator Magnus Abe (APC, Rivers South-East), “Urgent need to investigate, regularise and amend conflicting, vague and unjust remedies which the Central Bank of Nigeria offers to victims of excess and arbitrary bank charges and illegal deductions by commercial banks.”
In the presentation of the motion, Senator Abe said: “The Senate notes that over the years, commercial banks in Nigeria have indulged in sharp practices of overcharging customers/depositors arbitrarily and excessively, contrary to tariff stipulations, credit and monetary guidelines issued from time to time by the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
In his remarks, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who commended Senator Abe on the motion, stressed that every naira was important to customers, especially due to the present economic situation in the country.