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South East traders lament multiple bank charges, seek CBN’s intervention

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu
07 December 2021   |   4:12 am
Traders in the South East region have lamented multiple and indiscriminate charges and deductions on customers’ accounts by commercial banks operating in the zone and urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene and curb the banks’ excesses.

Traders in the South East region have lamented multiple and indiscriminate charges and deductions on customers’ accounts by commercial banks operating in the zone and urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene and curb the banks’ excesses.

The South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA), stated this in an open letter to the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, and made available to newsmen in Enugu.

They lamented that their members have been subjected to what they described as “financial oppression through indiscriminate deductions by commercial banks.”

In the letter, jointly signed by President-General of SEAMATA, Gozie Akudolu and Secretary, Alex Okwudiri, they revealed how depositors were being ripped-off on daily basis by commercial banks operating in the zone through indiscriminate charges and deductions from their bank accounts.

The group argued that most of the transactions on which customers’ accounts were charged should be the social responsibility of the banks, adding that the banks make deductions and charges for all transactions ranging from deposits to confirmation of signature.

“Part of the major responsibilities of commercial banks is to accept deposits from customers, keep the funds in safe custody and perform other transactions for and as directed by the customer through various bank instruments.

“The CBN’s cashless economy policy has been of immense benefits to our members especially as it curtailed the barest minimum armed robbery attacks of our members, which led to loss of fortunes and even lives. Today, nobody carries huge cash again even on business trips.

“But the commercial banks are turning themselves into a huge burden for customers through indiscriminate charges and deductions, especially for on-line transactions,” the letter reads.

It added: “When customers transfer funds online, they charge the account holders for the transfer and certain amount of money deducted from the account, while the recipient’s account is also charged and deductions made for receiving money.”

They also complained that charges and deductions were made for SMS, which they do not receive most of the time, while charges and deductions are made on the same account as service charges.

The association expressed confidence in CBN’s ability, commitment and willpower to the successful resolution of the matter through its intervention.

“We bring you (Emefiele) the warm regards of our esteemed members and commend your good work in the management of the nation’s monetary policy and regulation of commercial banks operations in the country,” the statement added.