…Calls for ‘No Banking Day’ to protest charges
By Babajide Komolafe
Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON) has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of aiding banks to exploit bank customers. Meanwhile the group has called for a No Banking Day, on March 1st, when bank customers will shun all banking services to protest excessive bank charges. These were contained in a petition signed by the President of CAFON, Sola Salako and made available to Vanguard over the weekend.
The petition was addressed to bank customers was titled, March 1st is ‘No Banking Day’ against excessive charges. The petition stated, “Dear Nigerian Banks Consumers for many years now, consumers of banking services have been subject to series of poor and unsatisfactory transaction and relationship terms. “We have endured excessive charges, illegal fees and unfair contracts that only protect the bank but does not protect the consumers.
Banks debit our accounts at will for charges we never agreed to or were not aware of; they charge us for every little service; we pay for getting our statements; introduction letters; and now, some banks are charging N200 for the use of deposit and transfer forms! “Under the current CBN management, abolished fees are being reintroduced. ATM withdrawals that were free now cost N65 on 3rd withdrawals.
We pay N1000 for debit card issuance and renewals; we pay N105 for every online transfer; and they still charge N105 as Annual Debit Card Maintenance and now, a new Stamp Duty charge of N50 on every credit of over N1000 has just been introduced. COT that was supposed to end finally in 2016 is now being reintroduced as 1% of every withdrawal purportedly as Monthly Current Account Maintenance Fees! This is unacceptable! “The fact is, Consumers are being exploited by all the banks and CBN is aiding and encouraging these exploitations.
We cannot continue to endure these exploitations! That is why Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria CAFON, a consumer rights NGO is calling consumers to join us in protest of Banking Exploitation by declaring Tuesday, March 1, 2016 as NO BANKING DAY! “Our Demands are: We want bank charges reviewed downwards; Banks must clear fees with consumers before debiting our accounts;
Bank forms and contracts must be reviewed to include more protection for consumers; Consumer complaints must be resolved promptly and satisfactorily; CBN must review the new Stamp Duty Charge, Account Maintenance Charge and Debit Card Maintenance Fees. “We urge all consumers to boycott all banking services in protest of these excessive charges and policies.
That means on Tuesday March 1, 1. Don’t visit any bank or branches to transact any business 2. Don’t use your ATM from 12a.m -12 midnight on March 1 3. Don’t log in to any of your accounts online and don’t do any transfers from 12am-12 midnight 4. Don’t make any online payments from 12am- 12 midnight 5. Don’t issue any cheques or banking instruments dated March 1, 2016 6.
“Avoid doing any financial transactions on March 1 but if you must, avoid the banks! We can all commit to observe a No Banking Day Protest to press home our demands. After all, if we don’t patronize them, they can’t be in business.”Please sign this petition if you agree to join the protest and share with your friends and family until we have mass awareness so everyone can observe the No Banking Day Protest. It is not right, so let’s use our Rights!”