The House of Representatives on Thursday condemned the ‘spurious charges’ levied on Nigerians when they initiate ATM transactions outside their domiciliary banks.The parliament, in a motion supported by the majority, said Nigerians have lost significant sum of money to bank operators with little or no checks by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CBN on September 1, 2014 reintroduced charges for ATM transactions, citing frivolous withdrawals and abuse by users.
The measure altered a 2012 arrangement in which the CBN resolved with the Bankers Committee to transfer the payment of N100 fee at the time to issuing banks.
Under that arrangement, the fee was shared between the ATM acquirers, card issuers and switches. Banks, as the issuers of the ATM cards, were required to waive the N35 issuer’s fee, while bearing only the cost of N65 each time their customers used another banks’ ATM.
The CBN said the loss for not collecting the N35 issuers’ fee from the card users had imposed a substantial cost burden on banks, and consequently set new charges at N65 per transaction after the first three transactions of every month which attract no charges.
Thursday’s resolution, which called for investigation of prevailing N65 tax rates, was sponsored by a Kogi State representative, Yusuf Tajudeen.
Mr. Tajudeen said, apart from the ATM charges, there are other inexplicable charges that banks levy on customers, a situation he said a “docile” CBN had allegedly allowed to linger for too long.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, being the regulatory body of banks, has not taken any reasonable and punitive measure to sanction” financial institutions “engaged in this sharp and illegal practice of N65 deduction from customers,” Mr. Tajudeen said.
Mr. Tajudeen’s proposal was backed by Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta) and Aminu Suleiman (APC-Kano). It was subsequently forwarded to the House Committee on Banking and Currency.