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Customers seek end to excessive bank charges

By on June 9, 2015

atm  chargeCustomers of commercial banks in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called for an end to excessive charges levied on them by commercial banks.

A cross section of the customers, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja, appealed to relevant authorities for proper moderation of the charges.

They said the charges had continued to multiply by the day and needed to be stopped as soon as possible.

Mr Kingsley Attah, a bank customer, said the rate at which banks charged their customers was not in order and should be discouraged.

“I have an account with a bank and at the end of the month, my account is usually debited between N25 and N40 a month.

“This amount may seem small but when they charge all the customers they have N25 in a month, it will amount to a huge sum.

“These charges usually come irrespective of whether you do a transaction in the bank or not and I think it is illegal, ” he said.

Also, Miss Charity Akowe, another bank customer, said she wanted to withdraw N1.5 million from her account but was told that she would be charged over N35,000.

Akowe said she had to rather transfer the money into another account to avoid paying the huge charges for withdrawing her own money.

She said it was not ideal for the bank to charge customers so much for withdrawing money from their accounts.

Another customer, Mr James Amos, said he could not understand why banks would charged customers for withdrawing money from their accounts

According to Amos, customers deposit money in the banks for safe keeping and the banks in turn uses the money to do their businesses.

He said that rather than charge customers for transactions, the banks should pay interest for keeping his money for them to use.

However, another customer, Mrs Ngozi Nkem, condemned customers who blamed banks for levying charges on their transactions.

“Banks are money making ventures and are out to make profit, so I do not understand why some people will expect them to render services for free.

“I think the problem we have is that we are used to getting things for free; the economy is sick and individuals and firms are striving to survive.

“The government has also withdrawn all its money from commercial banks and the bulk of money they get now is just from salaries and savings.

“So if the banks do not charge customers, they will not be able to survive and remain in the market,” she said.

Nkem said if a customer required a letter of non-indebtedness from a bank, a business that would generate income, it was not a crime for the bank to demand some charges.

An official of First Bank Plc in the Wuse Area, in the FCT who preferred anonymity, explained that the charges on customers were the ways banks generated their money.

The official said: “If banks do not generate any money at the end of the day, its staff will go home without salaries.

“So, for us to be able to generate money and service our businesses, we have to charge customers for services rendered and we are very considerate with the charges.”

Another official at the GTBank told NAN that some of the charges were parts of measures to encourage a cashless economy.

NAN reports that some of the charges being complained of by customers include Commission on Turnover, ATM Card maintenance fees, SMS charges, costs on letter of non-indebtedness.

Many of the commercial banks charge between N,2000 and N2,5000 on letter of non-indebtedness.