Senate summons Emefiele, bank MDs over illegal deductions, charges
The Senate yesterday mandated its banking committee to summon the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, his officials and managing directors of commercial banks over excess and illegal bank charges and deductions.
It also directed the committee to conduct a public hearing to resolve and amend laws, rules and guidelines that do not protect customers and provide them with substantial remedies when overcharged.
These resolutions were made sequel to an adopted motion sponsored by Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, representing rivers southeast and co-sponsored by 22 other senators.
Abe said that over the years, commercial banks have indulged in sharp practices by overcharging both customers and depositors contrary to tariff stipulations, credit and monetary guidelines periodically issued by the CBN.
Abe added that CBN was even negligent of floods of request by bank customers seeking explicit clarification of its rules to commercial banks.
In their findings, the lawmakers noted that excess, arbitrary and illegal deductions are fraudulent by their nature and content. And affirmed that though unavailability and access to documents informed this rule but it was no longer tenable in this information technology age.
Similarly, the rule on published rates differentials was said to be no exemption. By this rule, it was meant for banks to publish all charges and commissions levied and to fully disclose their maximum rates in all publications.
Regrettably, the upper chamber noted that when non-complying banks are confronted they dismiss the rule as mere guide and not compulsory and enforceable.
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