Banks refund N3.09 billion to customers over fraud, excess charges, others

Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria refunded a cumulative sum of N3.093 billion to customers in 2018, due to various claims ranging from Excess/Unauthorised charges, Frauds, Guarantees, Dispense errors and Funds Transfers.

The disclosure was contained in the Financial Stability Report recently released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, covering the year 2018.

The Details

According to the CBN report, total claims made by customers in 2018 alone amounted to N7.99 billion and $1.76 million, while the sums of N3.09 billion and US$1.724 million were refunded to customers. This means banks refunded only 38.6% of the claims in local currency connected to Excess/Unauthorised charges, Frauds, Guarantees, Dispense errors and Funds Transfers.

Further details provided in the CBN report showed that a total of 1,612 complaints were lodged by consumers of financial services in the period under review. Essentially, out of the total 1,612 complaints received in the financial sector, 1,602 complaints or 99.38% were against banks, while 10 complaints or 0.62% were against Other Financial institution (OFIs).

While several complaints were received, a total of 1,496 complaints were successfully resolved or closed in the period under review. This means the banks resolved 77.5% of complaints received in 2018.

Fraud cases and Forgeries

Specifically, reported cases of fraud and forgeries by DMBs rose to 25,029 at the end of December 2018, from 20,774 cases at the end of June 2018.

In terms of the amount involved, the sum of N18.94 billion was recorded as cases of fraud and forgeries in 2018 full year, with actual losses estimated at N2.21 billion.

Meanwhile, the CBN stated that in order to tackle this trend, bank customers were continually sensitized on safe banking practices while banks were also encouraged to implement strong authentication controls and carry out comprehensive infrastructure risk assessments.

Curbing Banks’ Excesses

Bank customers in Nigeria have continually lamented the arbitrary imposition of various charges and several cases relating to failed banks transactions, fraud and so on.

In recent times, cases of failed bank transactions without early or no refund have taken toll on banks transactions, and calls are constantly being made to the apex bank to correct the rising trend. Following this, in July 2019, the CBN gave DMBs 72-hour ultimatum to resolve customers’ complaints or be penalised.

As published on Nairametrics, the CBN also educated bank customers on the procedures to lodge their complaints when faced with card-related and fund transfer issues. After lodging complaints, the CBN stated that customers must insist on getting the Consumer Complaint Management System (CCMS) tracking number from the banks.

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