The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committee on Banking to investigate alleged arbitrary bank charges and deductions by commercial banks in the country.
The upper chamber also summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, managing directors of commercial banks, forensic auditors and Bankers’ Committee with a view to harmonising relevant banking laws, rules and guidelines that do not adequately protect the customers and give them substantial remedy when overcharged.
The committee was specifically asked to conduct an investigative hearing and thoroughly probe the CBN and commercial banks’ operational charges with a view to finding an enduring solution to the anomaly.
The resolutions followed the consideration of a motion titled: “Urgent need to investigate, regularise and amend conflicting, vague and unjust remedies which the CBN offers to victims of excess and arbitrary bank charges and illegal deductions by commercial banks.”
The motion sponsored by Senator Magnus Ngei Abe (Rivers South East) had 22 others as co-sponsors.
Abe, in his lead debate, said over the years, commercial banks in the country have indulged in sharp practices of over- charging customers/depositors arbitrarily and excessively contrary to tariff stipulations, credit and monetary guidelines issued from time to time by the CBN.
He said: “If this trend is allowed to continue unabated, Nigerians will be worse of for it, while the commercial banks will continue to declare huge profits at the expense of innocent Nigerians from regular depositors to business firms.”