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Reps investigate illegal ATM deduction, as 1st quarter deduction hits over N8.6bn

By on June 3, 2013

House of Representatives has concluded plans to investigate into various petitions bothering on wrongful withholding of customs monies through malfunctioning Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reportedly confirmed banks in Nigeria have defrauded unsuspecting customers of N8.6 billion as at the first quarter of this year.
The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a petition laid before the House Ali Ahmad, chairman House Committee on Justice who lamented that the trend is a threat to the country’s transition to a cashless economy.
Ahmad said “the petitioner narrated how he went through due process by making formal complaint of reporting the non-dispense of his money while his account was debited. He resorted to the petition and House of Representatives’ intervention two months after the incidence to curb further tactical manipulation of the banking system.”
Ahmad, while defending the need for the investigation noted that withholding customer’s money for more than the stipulated period should not be treated with levity.
The petition reads on part: “The banks would continue to indulge in this since there is no sanction to make responsible by ensuring that their ATMs are always in good condition. It may not be out of place that the trend might be deliberate, probably in a bid to use unsuspecting customer’s money to ease their (banks) financial pressure.
“This is because if all the incidences are recorded and the funds aggregated by all the banks, there is no doubt that we will be talking about millions of Naira being deliberately denied customers while the banks are feeding fat on it.
“These funds are held supposedly for 10 working days, which translates to at least two weeks and the owner of the fund is made to run from pillar to post and at the end of the day, no interest is added to the fund. Fidelity bank and Diamond bank and other banks in general should be investigated for extortion and if found guilty should be appropriately sanctioned.
“Internet failure cannot hold as a reason because customers are charged appropriately by the banks for services rendered. Moreover, banks can afford to secure more effective broadband for their own use to ease transaction of services like it is done in other countries.
“It must also be remembered that no customer dare default on repayment of loan for a day without sanction from the bank. It would not be out place to remind you that it was confirmed by the CBN that as at the first quarter of this year, banks in Nigeria have defrauded unsuspecting customers of N8.6 billion. The House has also opened investigation into tax collection, remittance and level of compliance with FIRS regulations by banks. Malfunctioning ATMs might just be another means of sustaining the frauds perpetrated by these banks.”