The Money Deserves Better (MDBM) movement has called on Nigerian banks to reduce transaction charges and raise the Return on Investment (RoI) value they provide to customers.
The MDBM team kicked off the campaign following reports that banks’ fees and commissions income surged by 17.5 per cent to N365 billion in the first quarter of 2023.
Despite the significant increase in banks’ revenue, the interest earned on high-interest savings accounts averages 4 to 5 per cent per annum.
The MDBM said such returns on investment are meagre compared to the current inflation rate in Nigeria is (22.79 per cent), thereby providing negative returns between what the banks pay as interest and the inflation rate.
“It is about time we speak up for our money. Our money deserves more. When we save, we want to know that we will get a higher interest rate, for choosing to save rather than spend. We want easy access to better investment opportunities. Therefore, we have taken to the streets to campaign for our money,” the group said.
One of the members of the MDBM, Bamise Lucas, said “We advocate for improved rates and reduced charges on our transactions. Our ultimate goal is to encourage more individuals to join this financial revolution meant to improve the offerings and benefits of financial services to customers,” he continued.
“As part of our objectives, there is a call on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to consider reducing the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR). Such a move would have a positive impact on the interest rates offered by banks, making savings more attractive to account holders.”
In addition to pushing for a drop in the MPR, the movement is also urging banks to increase the annual interest rates on savings accounts.
Public Relations Officer, MDBM, Sarah Ola, said, “This step would incentivise more people to save their money in banks and see better returns on their investments.”
The group is also advocating for a reduction in the costs associated with using electronic channels for transactions.
Ola, emphasising the increasing digitisation of financial activities, said “lower transaction charges would encourage more Nigerians to adopt digital methods of payment, thereby enhancing financial inclusion and efficiency.”
The movement also seeks to challenge a common misconception among Nigerians that major banks with well-known names automatically guarantee better returns and security for their money.
Ola advised investors to explore alternative investment opportunities in other companies licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which could even provide higher returns than banks.
“The SEC serves as the regulatory body overseeing financial market activities in Nigeria, ensuring transparency, fairness, and proper regulation,” the MDBM PRO said.