The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s efforts at protecting bank customers are yielding immense result as the apex bank said it has recovered N8.6 billion from banks in the country for customers that were defrauded at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Speaking to journalists on the activities of the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN in Abuja yesterday, the Director of the department, Hajia Umma Dutse, stated that “the N6 billion figure that the governor gave was the figure that he had as at last year, I think December. The current figure we have been able to recover is more than N8.6 billion in favour of various consumers.”
She added that “so far the department has received and treated over 2,800 complaints from consumers against deposit money banks as at the end of the first quarter of 2013.” Also, some banks she said have been fined N2 million for these infractions.
This figure she explained “excludes complaints that have to do with ATM and other electronic related complaints and also complaints from other financial institutions like the microfinance institutions, the primary mortgage institutions, it is just complaints against the deposit money banks.”
The complaints, she noted, “are mostly complaints that have to do with excess charges, conversion, fraud and such other complaints.”
For now the CBN has decided to exclud the ATM and other electronic complaints “because those are treated by bank payment department for now, but eventually, when the structure is approved, the process will come to the consumer protection department,” she said.
She said that her department had “received complaints against all banks in the country, but some banks had more complaints from their customers than others.”
Umma Dutse further stated that “there are various categories of complaints and the length of time for resolution usually depends on the nature and complexity of the complaint. For example, a customer may complain of refusal of his bank to issue him a bank statement while another consumer may complain of excess charges over a long period of time, but our regulation is clear that financial institutions must resolve all complaints within two weeks of receiving such.”