For maintaining customers account in 2016, eight financial Institutions generated N45 billion upon the removal of Commission on Turnover (CoT) charges in the Banking Industry.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2016 indirectly reintroduced CoT fee as Current Account Maintenance (CAM) fee of not more than N1.00 per mille.
Some banks in 2015 had commenced charges on CAM fee while some refunded those excess charges back to their customers.
For instance, United Bank for Africa thus charged customers N4.2 billion in 2016 and did not charge customers on account maintenance fee in 2015. But overtime, the Bank refunded the sum of N3.7 billion in respect of excess COT, monthly charges and negotiable current account maintenance fee to customers.
Zenith Bank Plc, Union Bank for Africa Plc charged customers N17.39 billion and N1.2 billion on account maintenance fee in 2016 respectively.
The likes of Sterling Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), Access bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Group Plc (FCMB) and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc had charged customers N22.4 billion on account maintenance fee in 2016, an increase of 9.4 per cent from N20 billion recorded in 2015.
The breakdown revealed that Sterling Bank Plc recorded a growth of 2.1 per cent on account maintenance fee from N1.42 billion in 2015 to N1.4 billion in 2016 while GTBank’s charges dropped by 20.5 per cent to N8.4 billion from N10.6 billion recorded in 2015.
GTBank in 2016 introduced Account services, maintenance and anciliary banking charges’ that increased by 40 per cent from N3.8 billion in 2015 to N5.4 billion in 2016.
A source in the bank explained to our correspondent that accounts maintenance charges was introduced by CBN to replace CoT comes along with turnover.
He noted that Account services, maintenance and anciliary banking charges’ introduced by GTBank is not turnover related.
According to him, “Banks discharge numerous charges. GTBank cannot capture all charges on all transactions in our financial reporting. For instance, when a customer request for a cheque book, we receive commission.
“When a customer breaks cashless policy, there is a cashless charge commission .All these charges that are not turnover base are regards as Account services, maintenance and anciliary banking charges.”
Other banks include, Access Bank Plc account maintenance fee dropped by 18 per cent from N3.2 billion to N2.6 billion in 2016 while FCMB charges gained 15.8 per cent to N2.7 billion in 2016 from N2.36 billion recorded in 2015.
In addition, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Account transaction fees significantly rose by 153 per cent to N7 billion from N2.8 billion in 2015.
Commenting, the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Dr. Uju Ogubunka, urged CBN to reconsider the account Maintenance charges.
In his words, “We had sent a letter to CBN on account Maintenance charges. CBN cannot stop one charge and introduce other charges on the same bases- which means CBN is indirectly introducing the one we had complained about.
“I don’t see the need for banks to earn that income. Banks took those money from customers and I will suggest CBN to reconsiders the account Maintenance charges again.
“These funds can be used to develop a lot of things. I believe it is not right for banks to charges customers on maintaining their accounts.”