By Kingsley Alu, Abuja –
Following rising concerns that customers of banking services have for many years endured excessive baking charges , unexplainable fees and unfair contracts that only protect the banks but not the customers. the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has finally commenced moves against banks in the country .
The CPC which said it was about time banking fees were regulated, warned that that banks have for long crossed the red line and the impunity must stop.
Director – general of the council, Mr Babatunde Irukera , who made this disclosure in Lagos, said excessive commissions on transactions, huge ATM charges, onerous overdraft interest charges, charges for introduction letters, periodic statements and regular forms like deposit and transfer forms, and the new stamp duty, were disincentives and a huge burden to bank customers who would readily pay reasonable charges for the services the banks render.
While describing the situation as unacceptable to the CPC, he hinted that ahead of its early next year show-down with the banks , discussions with regulators and stakeho!ders in the financial services sector on this issue vexed issue had since commenced .
He said the CPC was already moving towards finalising a broader memorandum of understanding it had with the regulators before , stressing that the onus was now on the banks to encourage Nigerians to keep their money with them and not scare them away with excessive charges .
Irureka further hinted that the agency was already in talks with the consumer and payment departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ,with a view to saving consumers of banking services and restoring sanity in the way banking transactions were carried out so that the economy can grow.