BREAKING: New CBN Order Forces Banks To Slash Transfer Fees & ATM Withdrawal Charges

By  |  December 22, 2019

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria’s apex bank, has today issued a directive to all the commercial banks operating in the country to slash the charges on inter-bank transfers and ATM withdrawals.

Under the new arrangement, bank inter-bank transfers below NGN 5 K will from now on attract a charge of NGN 10.00. For transfers between NGN 5 K and NGN 50 K, banks will now charge NGN 25.00. And for transfers above NGN 50 K, the CBN has ordered banks to charge NGN 50.00.

Also, the new directive mandates banks to charge NGN 35.00 for ATM withdrawals when customers make use of ATMs belonging to banks other than theirs.

Additionally, the CBN also removed Card Maintenance Fee on all cards linked to current accounts.

This move, according to the CBN, is aimed at encouraging financial inclusion and reducing the burden of bank charges on consumers of financial services.

Bank charges are a hot topic of debate for users of digital financial services. With the CBN’s cashless policy gaining momentum, banking transactions are increasingly moving to digital channels with ATMs, apps, USSD, POS, and ATMs taking centre stage.

But just as digital banking channels have evolved, customers have often had to bear the brunt because of all the unhidden and hidden charges layered onto those services.

It’s a common feeling among bank customers that they are being ripped off by banks in trying to embrace digital channels that were basically shoved down their throats.

Typically, Nigerian banks charge NGN 52.00 for all inter-bank transfers via digital channels, regardless of the amount being transferred. Also, ATM users are only allowed to make 3 withdrawals via ATMs of banks other than theirs in a month, after which they are charged NGN 65.00. There are also monthly fees for’ ATM maintenance’ and SMS alerts.

The CBN has, thus, moved to slash those charges so as to alleviate the plight of customers who are often discouraged from embracing digital channels.

A post on the official twitter handle of the CBN reads:

“CBN has issued a revised Guide to Charges by Banks, Other Financial and Non-Bank Financial institutions in response to the evolution in the financial industry over the last few years.”

It goes on: “CBN new guide includes, amongst others; downward review of charges for electronic banking transactions. Review of other bank charges to align with market developments and inclusion of new sections on Accountability/Responsibility and a Sanction Regime to directly address instances of excess, unapproved and/or arbitrary charges.

“The revised Guide to Charges by Banks, Other Financial and Non-Bank Financial Institutions takes effect on January 1, 2020.”

It’s a development that will no doubt be lauded by bank customers and most likely criticised by the banks.

To enforce the directive, the CBN also stated that any Financial Institution that breaches any of the provisions as contained in the new Guide carries a penalty of NGN 2 Mn per infraction or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.

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