Se­nate sum­mons Eme­fiele, bank MDS over il­le­gal de­duc­tions, charges

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From George Opara, Abuja

THE Se­nate yes­ter­day man­dated its bank­ing com­mit­tee to sum­mon the Gov­er­nor of Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN), God­win Eme­fiele, his of­fi­cials and man­ag­ing direc­tors of com­mer­cial banks over ex­cess and il­le­gal bank charges and de­duc­tions.

It also di­rected the com­mit­tee to con­duct a pub­lic hear­ing to re­solve and amend laws, rules and guide­lines that do not pro­tect cus­tomers and pro­vide them with sub­stan­tial reme­dies when over­charged.

These res­o­lu­tions were made se­quel to an adopted mo­tion spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Mag­nus Ngei Abe, rep­re­sent­ing rivers south­east and co-spon­sored by 22 other sen­a­tors.

Abe said that over the years, com­mer­cial banks have in­dulged in sharp prac­tices by over­charg­ing both cus­tomers and de­pos­i­tors con­trary to tar­iff stip­u­la­tions, credit and mon­e­tary guide­lines peri- od­i­cally is­sued by the CBN. Abe added that CBN was even neg­li­gent of floods of re­quest by bank cus­tomers seek­ing ex­plicit clar­i­fi­ca­tion of its rules to com­mer­cial banks. In their find­ings, the law­mak­ers noted that ex­cess, ar­bi­trary and il­le­gal de­duc­tions are fraud­u­lent by their na­ture and con­tent. And af­firmed that though un­avail­abil­ity and ac­cess to doc­u­ments in­formed this rule but it was no longer ten­able in this in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy age.

Sim­i­larly, the rule on pub­lished rates dif­fer­en­tials was said to be no ex­emp­tion. By this rule, it was meant for banks to pub­lish all charges and com­mis­sions levied and to fully dis­close their max­i­mum rates in all pub­li­ca­tions.

Re­gret­tably, the up­per cham­ber noted that when non-com­ply­ing banks are con­fronted they dis­miss the rule as mere guide and not com­pul­sory and en­force­able.

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