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Reps to investigate excessive charges by banks

House of Representatives chamber

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate alleged excessive charges on bank transactions by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria.

The committee was given four weeks to report back for further legislative action.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the need to investigate the alleged imposition of excessive charges on bank transactions by DMBs in the country by Sergius Ose Ogun during plenary yesterday.

Ogun noted that Section 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.

The lawmaker explained that most of the DMBs in Nigeria imposed excessive and non-statutory charges on varying bank transactions carried out by customers.

He said: “Aware that in January 2020, in the bid to, among other things, stop the indiscriminate imposition of charges by Deposit Money Banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a guide to charges by Banks, other financial institutions and non-bank financial institutions, explaining the approved bank charges to be imposed by Deposit Money Banks.

“That in most cases, the deductions are already covered by the CBN approved monthly Account Maintenance Fee (AMF), thus amounting to double deduction.”

…in most cases, the deductions are already covered by the CBN approved monthly Account Maintenance Fee (AMF), thus amounting to double deduction.

Ogun raised a concern that despite the guide issued by the CBN, some banks still deduct outrageous amounts of money from their customers in the guise of bank charges with different descriptions.

Also, another lawmaker, Sada Sole, while contributing in support of the motion said: “The most worrying thing is when you go to deposit money, you are charged. Forgoing to keep your money which is the greatest role of the banks, you are charged and again when you go to withdraw, you are charged.

“You will not believe these ratings of charges, Mr Speaker. Account maintenance fees, electronic transfer, credit cards charges, debit cards charges, issuance statements of account charges etc.”

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