CPC Moves Against Banks Over Rip-off Charges

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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.