Groups Urge Customers To Boycott Banks Today Over Excessive Charges
..Calls For Review Of Charges
…Says It Will Discourage Banking
Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON) has urged Nigerians are to shun banking activities across the country today to protest exorbitant charges by commercial banks.
CAFON is a not-for-profit group dedicated to advocacy for consumer rights and protection in Africa’s largest consumer market is leading the protest.
President of CAFON Sola Salako, while speaking on the development stated that the #NoBankingDay was aimed at putting pressure on commercial banks in the country to review their charges downwards.
Other demands by CAFON are : that banks must clear fees with consumers before debiting their accounts and that the Central Banks of Nigeria(CBN) must review the new Stamp Duty Charge, Account Maintenance Charge and Debit Card Maintenance Fees.
CAFON on its website said, “March 1 is “No Banking Day” Protest against excessive bank charges Dear Nigerian Banks Consumers For many years now, consumers of banking services have been subject to series of poor and unsatisfactory transaction and relationship terms,”
It continued, “We have endured excessive charges, illegal fees and unfair contracts that only protect the bank but do not protect the consumers. Banks debit our accounts at will for charges we never agreed to or were not aware of; they charge us for every little service; we pay for getting our statements; introduction letters; and now, some banks are charging N200 for the use of deposit and transfer forms!”
She lamented that the ATM withdrawals that were hitherto free now cost N65 on 3rd withdrawals, adding that as if that was not enough bank customers N1,000 for debit card and N105 for every online transfer.
According to her, “We pay N1000 for debit card issuance and renewals; we pay N105 for every online transfer; and they still charge N105 as Annual Debit Card Maintenance and now, a new Stamp Duty charge of N50 on every credit of over N1000 has just been introduced. COT that was supposed to end finally in 2016 is now being reintroduced as 1% of every withdrawal purportedly as Monthly Current Account Maintenance Fees!”
“That is why CAFON, a consumer rights NGO is calling consumers to join us in protest against banking exploitation by declaring Tuesday, March 1 2016 as NO BANKING DAY!” she added
Similarly, CAFON also called for a review of bank forms and contracts to include more protection for consumers and for consumer complaints to be resolved promptly and satisfactorily.
In the same vein, the National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria (CSAN), has also urged bank customers to join ‘No Banking Day’ protest today.
He threw his weight behind the planned protest against excessive bank charges being spearheaded by CAFON and Coalition of Nigerian Consumer Protection Association.
Mikail pointed out that the Apex bank had directed commercial banks in the country to charge customers N50 on deposits from N1, 000 and above, as part of Nigeria’s stamp duties law on financial transactions.
He stated that there were other silent charges by Nigerian banks, stressing that there was the need to alert the Federal government on these excessive charges by Nigerians banks.
The federal government, he said should come up with a good economic blue print on how to restructure the economy, saying that these charges are ways of imposing extra tax on the masses.
This, he stated would discourage people from banking.
According to him, “Nigeria is largely under-banked especially in rural areas. This type of policy will worsen the situation; in particular for traders doing business in the rural areas. It will have negative effects on the cashless monetary policy that is already in place as it is also another way of imposing extra tax on the masses. It would discourage people from keeping money in the banks as Nigeria is largely under-banked, especially the rural areas.”