News Column

Banks Now to Resolve Bank Charge Complaints in 30 Days

July 2, 2014

Kingsley Ighomwenghian

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the midweek announced the extension of the timeline for resolution of all categories of complaints relating to excess charges and loans in the banking industry from 14 to 30 days.

In a circular, with reference, FPR/DIR/CIR/GEN/04/009, dated July 2, 2014, signed by Kelvin Amugo, director, Financial Policy & Regulations Department, replaces the earlier one: FPR/DIR/CIR/GEN/01/020, dated August 16, 2011.

Giving a reason for the extension, the CBN said it has observed that the 14-day timeline "to resolve complaints on excess charges and loans has been inadequate."

The new timeline took effect from June 30, 2014.

The CBN had in 2011 directed all banks to set up Automated Teller Machine (ATM) help desks to handle all consumer complaints, by the extension, such complaints are now to be resolved within 30 days.

The new circular is coming a fortnight after the apex bank, on June 11, 2014, frowned at the rate Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country continue to shortchange their customers through non-dispense or partial dispense errors from their automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

The banks were directed to resolve all issues of non-dispensed or partially dispensed funds from their ATMs, on or before July 31, 2014.

Banks that fail to comply with the directed, according to the CBN circular referenced: BPS/DIR/CIR/01/008, titled "non-refund of monies to customers shortchanged by ATMs' non-dispense or partial dispense error," risk "appropriate sanctions for non-compliance."

The circular to all banks, signed by 'Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking and Payment System Department, said the attention of the CBN has been drawn to the fact that deposit money banks have notg been refunding their customers that have been shortchanged by the ATM's partial dispense error. It noted that others with non-dispense errors have not also had their monies refunded.

According to Fatokun, "this issue was brought to the notice of the chairmen of the Committees of Heads of e-Banking and Heads of Operations (of banks), at meeting held on April 15, 2014, at which the Card Schemes and Switches were present."

A major outcome of the said meeting, the CBN recalled further, "was that banks were directed to reconcile their accounts with a view to returning such monies to their owners.

"You are by this circular directed to return all the monies in your possession as a result of the ATM non-dispense or partial dispense error, not later than July 31, 2014," the CBN stressed.

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Source: AllAfrica

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