Customers of various commercial banks in Nigeria have lamented multiple and indiscriminate charges and debits on their accounts.
Some of them took to social media platforms on Friday to accuse the banks of fraud.
“Guys, there’s a high level of coordinated fraud in the banking sector right now. So many customers are getting debited from their accounts and banks are claiming it’s POS transactions even from accounts that don’t barely use their cards. These funds are not being reverted,” a Twitter user wrote.
“Banks are not having explanations for these debits and unauthorised transactions.Banks are not safeguarding these funds.They are encouraging the fraud and nobody is talking about it.If you have a debit card, your money is not safe.”
Guys, there’s a high level of coordinated fraud in the banking sector right now. So many customers are getting debited from their accounts and banks are claiming it’s POS transactions even from accounts that don’t barely use their cards.
These funds are not being reverted.
— OTUNBA COFFEE ☕️ (@OtunbaCoff) December 16, 2021
When contacted on Saturday, Osita Nwanisobi, CBN spokesperson, said bank customers with unresolved complaints should contact the apex bank.
Nwanisobi said the CBN would ensure that bank customers get a redress on issues of excess charges and unauthorised withdrawals.
According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular on its website, showing all legitimate bank charges; any charge outside what is stated in the circular is not allowed.
“What you should be asking them (bank customers) is if they have reported those incidents to the CBN. We work based on the information we receive,” Nwanisobi said.
“We have channels, we have educated them, we have said that you have the right to complain if you get debited. We have written on our website about the cost of bank charges. If anybody is charging you more than what you see, what do you do?
“You need to report to CBN and we will take it up. Anytime we have done sensitisation, we showed them, in concrete terms, the amount we have recovered from banks and sent back to individuals.
“Customers should report to the CBN. We have channels, we have email addresses where they can reach us. That’s what they should do.”
HOW TO LODGE A COMPLAINT WITH THE CBN
The CBN advised customers to allow deposit money banks to resolve their complaints within two weeks.
“If after lodging your complaint your Bank still fails to engage you and resolve the complaint within 2 Weeks as provided for in the ATM HELP DESK Circular, you have the right to escalate your complaint to the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of the CBN,” the apex bank said.
“You can only direct your Complaints to CPD upon the failure of your Bank/Financial Institution to resolve your complaint within the 2 weeks timeline given by the CBN.”
The apex financial regulator said customers can contact the CPD by sending an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or call +234 7002255226.
Customers can lodge a complaint directly on the CBN website via this link.
Customers can also choose to write a letter addressed to the director, Consumer Protection Department, Central Business District, Abuja.
“Your letter of Complaint should be addressed to the Director, Consumer Protection Department. You can submit your letter at the CBN Head Office OR at any of the Central Bank of Nigeria branches of nationwide,” the CBN added.
“Your complaint should be clear and concise to avoid ambiguity. The Complaint letter (petition) should contain amongst other things the following:
• Name, Address, Contact Phone Number & E-mail of the Complainant;
• Name of your Financial Institution;
• Personal banking details (Do NOT include PIN & Passwords, please;)
• History/Date of the transaction in dispute;
• Amount claimed (if any);
• Attach relevant documents to support your claim and;
• Evidence to show that you have first lodged the complaint at your bank.”
“You can make your further inquiries and obtain additional information on the Complaints Handling Process of the Central Bank of Nigeria from the Complaints Unit of your Bank/Financial Institution or from CBN offices nationwide.”