Money deposit banks in the country have refunded N6.8 billion to customers in the first half of 2018 as excess charges, among others.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Economic Report for the First Half of 2018, US$119,349, £2,889.98 and €32.82 were also refunded by the commercial banks.

1,439 complaints were received from consumers within the period under review, compared to 1,141 in the same period in 2017.

The report read: "The Bank received 1,439 complaints from consumers of financial services in the first half of 2018, compared with the 1,141 in the corresponding period of 2017. The complaints were, mainly, in respect of excess charges, frauds, dishonoured guarantees and unauthorised deductions/ transfers, among others. A total of 2,451 complaints, including those outstanding from 2017, were resolved in the review period, compared with 1,270 complaints resolved in the corresponding period of 2017.

"Total claims in the review period in local and foreign currencies amounted to N20.5 billion, US$163,479.00, £2,889.98 and €32.82, compared with N14.72 billion, US$2.42 million and €6,940.00, in the corresponding period of 2017. The sum of N6.80 billion, US$119,349, £2,889.98 and €32.82 were refunded by financial institutions to their customers, compared with the sum of N7.21 billion, US$2.40 million and €6,940.00, refunded in the corresponding period of 2017."

The report also noted that compliance examinations were conducted on 21 banks in the first half of 2018, and total compliance was recorded.

"Compliance examination was conducted on 21 banks in the first half of 2018, to ascertain their level of compliance with consumer protection regulations particularly the Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions (GCBOFI). The exercise revealed 100.0 per cent compliance in the areas of outward telegraph/SWIFT and related charges of 0.5 per cent, current account maintenance fee charges on savings account and validation of refunds.

"Compliance levels in other areas were: interest rate on executed offer letters (95.3%); directives issued after the last examination and other directives (90.0%); application of SMS charges (52.4%); and outstanding complaints (22.6%). Overall, the examination revealed improvement in the compliance level in most areas, while the CBN directed banks to implement specific remedial actions, including refunds to customers, where applicable, in areas of non-compliance."

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