The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced the reduction in the withdrawal fee charged for the use of other banks’ Automated Teller Machines.
The apex bank on Sunday December 22, announced that it has slashed banks’ ATM withdrawal fee from N65 to N35. It also directed that the N35 ATM fee should be imposed on a bank user after the third withdrawal in a month.
In the new Guide to Bank Charges, Card Maintenance Fee on all cards linked to current accounts was removed as financial institutions were also ordered to charge a maximum of N1 per mille for customer induced debit transactions to third parties and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ account in other bank on current accounts only.
Bank customers will also now pay N10 for electronic transfers below N5,000, and N25 for electronic transfer between N5,000 and N50,000. Only electronic transfer above N50,000 will attract N50 charge. Previously, bank customers pay N50 charge for electronic transfers below N500,000.
To guard against excess, unapproved or arbitrary charges by banks and other financial institutions, the Guide stipulates a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time for financial institutions that breach any provision of the guide. The Guide also emphasized that failure by any bank to comply with CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N2,000,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.
Consequently, the CBN directed banks to log every complaint received from their customers into the Consumer Complaints Management System (CCMS) in addition to generating a unique reference code for each complaint lodged, which must be given to the customer. Failure to log and provide the code to the customer, it added, amounts to a breach and is sanctionable with a penalty of N1,000,000 per breach.
The statement reads in part;
“Financial Institutions are to note that any breach of the provisions of this Guide carries a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.
”Failure to comply with CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N2,000,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.”
CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor also explained that the current NIP charges apply to use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), purchase with cash-back will attract a charge of N100 per N20,000 subject to cumulative N60,000 daily withdrawal. Also, for cards linked to savings account, a maintenance fee has been reduced to a maximum of N50 per quarter from N50 per month amounting to only N200 per annum instead of N600.