First Bank?customers using the Automated Teller Machines?for cash withdrawals?are to pay N100 monthly, with effect from this month, according to a notice.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports in Abuja on?Monday that the notice for the new charge captioned, “Card Maintenance Fee,” was displayed on some ATM machines in the city.

The notice reads: “Dear valued customer, in order to serve you better, from March 2013, a monthly?N100 card maintenance fee will be charged for all cash withdrawals?within the month.’’

Some customers who spoke with NAN, however,?condemned the introduction and called for sanctions from the regulatory body.

Mr Joshua Abraham, a trader, said it was unfortunate that First Bank should introduce such a charge.

“I did not even notice, but if that is the case, they want to discourage us.

Mrs Uju? Nwanze, a legal practitioner, said the CBN should stop the charge.

“ This is another way to get back the N100 charges they just stopped recently on use of ATM cards.

“These banks are good at exploiting people, they did not even give prior notice like sending text messages.''

Also, Ejiro Fidel, a civil servant, said First Bank should not copy the new generation banks to rip off customers.

“They did not even care to inform their customers?about this development, this is unlike them. Civil servants use First Bank a lot because we believe they are better than most of these new banks.

“What maintenance are they doing on the card, this is very wrong and I hope that those in charge would stop them from doing so.

“I think that they should focus on how to encourage customers to use the card than discouraging them. This new charge is really anti-customer friendly,’’ he said.

NAN recalls that the Bankers' Committee meeting of November 2012, scrapped the N100 interbank charge on use of ATM cards.

NAN also reports that First Bank had on February 11, increased its charges on interbank money transfer, against moves by?the Central Bank of Nigeria?for a downward review of bank charges on customers. (NAN)