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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

BANKS DEFY CBN’S ORDER ON N100 ATM CHARGE

                                                                     
In spite of the order given by the Central Bank of Nigeria to banks to stop charging N100 on ATMs use by customers of other banks, the banks have not effected this change. It was learnt that banks across the country are still deducting N100 from the accounts of non-customers who use their ATMs to make withdrawals. It may interest you to know that the CBN on Tuesday, November 13, asked the banks to stop deducting N100 from account of customers of other banks who used their ATMs to make withdrawals. The decision was taken at the end of a meeting in Abuja between the CBN and Bankers Committee.
The Group Managing Director of First Bank PLC, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, made the new development known to newsmen that the charge and others associated with the use of ATMs had been scrapped. He said it was meant to encourage the use of ATMs, and went further to say that the decision would help to increase the patronage of ATMs, thus deepening the financial inclusion strategy of the apex bank. “...No matter where you are withdrawing your money from, you will not be subjected to any charge for using the ATM”, Onasanya said. However, this noble gesture which supposed to bring relief to bank customers has been rubbished by the refusal of the banks to comply with the CBN’s directive. This stand taken by the banks has made the customers to wonder why the banks should flout the directive of the CBN which is the sole regulatory body in the banking industry. Bank customers have been parting with their hard earned money with grumbling without anyone to cry to for help as many bank ATMs are programme to pay a maximum of N20,000 in a transaction. Thus, a customer that wants to withdraw N60,000 will be forced to part with N300 which he didn’t budget for initially. ATM charges have been another drainpipe on the finances of bank customers apart from other hidden charges which banks usually imposed on their customers. If the CBN had increased the ATM charge from N100 to N150 or N200, the banks would have complied without delay! The banks have no moral justification not to comply with the CBN’s directive. The CBN as the sole regulatory body in the banking industry should do everything possible under its statutory power to compel the banks to comply with this order without further delay.

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