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How to reduce excessive bank charges, by CIBN


President/Chairman of Council<br />Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu, FCIB<br />

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has urged both the executive and legislative arms of government to ensure business friendly environment in order to reduce excessive charges banks deduct from customers.President and Chairman of Council, CIBN, Uche Olowu, reasoned that reduced cost of production and support infrastructure for banks would end excessive charges on account holders.

Olowu, who spoke in Lagos in the wake of Senate’s resolution that ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card maintenance charges, while banks also review their charges.

The resolution came as part of a motion on illicit and excessive bank charges on customers’ accounts, sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa representing Lagos East.

The Senate had directed its Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.

But the CIBN chief opined that the lawmakers did not know the context for which those charges were levied.“They are not making profit out of it but to offset the cost of buying the machine, the cost of administering the service. As you can see, we no longer have theft.

“The banks provide their own electricity, their own water, and other inevitable costs. In other climes, these charges are taken. No doubt about that, even in developed markets. What we should be fighting for is how do we build productivity so as to bring down cost, and the excessive charges would be reviewed.”

He said what the banks are recouping is the cost of maintenance and not charging Nigerians excessively.
“What is the contribution to the overall total profit of the banks? We should rather try as much as possible to be productive enough so that the cost of production would come down and the value for infrastructure to enable the banks carry out effectively and the price would come down
“On our part, we will continue to ensure professionalism is our watchword. We will continue to discipline any banker that refuses to adhere to professional standards.”