Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, says it has in the past one year compelled erring banks to refund the sum of N17 billion illegal deductions and other unauthorised transaction to customers.
Mr Godwin Emefiele answering questions during his screening by the Senate for Central Bank Governorship in Abuja on Wednesday The Director, Consumer Protection Department of the CBN, Mallam Usman Dutse who stated this in Calabar yesterday at the commencement of a one week consumer public enlightenment and sensitization programme said since the upgrading of the Consumer protection Unit in the bank to a department in 2012, over 5,500 complaints have been lodged by customers which led to the directive by the CBN after investigation for the money to be refunded to customers.
Dutse who was represented by Hajia Kadija Hassim said customers should regularly scrutinise their bank statements and other banking transitions and any anomaly discovered should be promptly taken up with the bank and if no effort is made to address the complaint, the matter should be reported to the Consumer protection Unit in the Central Bank for immediate action to be taken..
‘Banks have been given one month within which to address any complaint by any customer and in the case of ATM transaction within the same bank, the issue should be resolved within two hours and in the event that the bank fails to do so, the customer should report to the Consumer Protection Department in the Central Bank in any state”.
He said the customer is entitled to international banking standard and anything below that should not be accepted, as Nigeria is part of the international economic standard.
“The economic meltdown that affected the world economic system also affected Nigeria therefore bank customers in Nigeria should no longer be treated anyhow but fairly treated by the banks”.
Mallam Dutse stated that the purpose of the one-week public enlightenment campaign is to teach the public basic financial issues so that they can have confidence in the banking system which will lead to the attainment of the objective of building a safe, sound and stable financial system in the country.
“There will be talk shops on radio stations, road shows along major roads and markets and workshops to enlighten the people on the workings of the financial system in the country and the efforts being made to improve it”.
The programme, he said has held in other eight states including Oyo, Gombe, Rivers, Plateau, Ogun, Kano, Rivers, Enugu and Sokoto State with the one in Calabar making it ninth state