By: Ademola Adegbamigbe
Sola Salako, President/Founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON) and Purrples Consult Limited boss has criticised the reintroduction of charges on cash deposits by bank customers, announcded yesterday by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Banker’s Committee.
According to Salako: “Here we go again! CBN and the Banker’s Committee are the greatest problems of Nigeria’s economy! For those who might not know, the Banker’s Committee is made up of all Banks and Financial Institutions CEOs and the CBN Governor is the Chairman.”
She wondered how bankers could be the ones determining the policies that will operate in their sector! “Of course they will want policies that improve their profit! And CBN that is supposed to regulate them is in bed with them…. because when they introduce these unconscionable charges on already overburdened customers, they all share the proceeds, this time CBN gets 40% and the banks keep 60%!,” she argued.
Salako concluded with derision: “Dear bank consumers, we obviously have no regulator in that sector because it appears CBN has abdicated its regulatory authority to the Bankers Committee! The banks regulate themselves now… with CBN’s approval!”
The Director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr. ‘Dipo Fatokun, posted this circular on the CBN website yesterday, revealing that the Bankers’ Committee at its 493rd meeting held on February 8, 2017, reviewed the cashless policy charges on withdrawal and deposit and decided that the policy be extended to the 30 remaining states of the federation.
For individuals with less than N500,000 cash deposit and withdrawals, there would be no charge. In addition, for cash between N500,000 and N1 million, deposit would be 1.5 per cent charge while for withdrawals two per cent of the amount.
Similarly, “For cash between N1 million and N5 million, while deposit attracts two per cent of the amount, bank customers making withdrawals within the range would have to pay three per cent charge. For cash above N5 million, deposit attracts three per cent charge while withdrawals is 7.5 per cent. On the other hand, for corporates with cash less than N3 million, for deposit and withdrawals, there would be no charge.
However, firms with cash between N3 million and N10 million, “depositing such would attract two per cent charge, while withdrawals would attract five cent of the amount. Also, for cash between N10 million and N40 withdrawn from a corporate account holder, three per cent would be charged for deposit and 7.5 per cent for withdrawals. For cash above N40 million, deposit is five per cent and withdrawals is 10 per cent.”
The new charges would take effect from April 1, 2017, in the existing cash-less states (Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, Rivers and the FCT).
But the policy shall be implemented with the charges taking effect on May 1, 2017, in Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Ondo, Osun and Plateau States according to the CBN.
The policy would be implemented with the charges taking effect on August 1, 2017, in Edo, Katsina, Jigawa, Niger, Oyo, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Taraba and Nasarawa State.
“The policy shall be implemented with the charges taking effect on October 1, 2017, in the following states: Borno, Benue, Ekiti, Cross River, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Yobe, Sokoto and Zamfara. The income generated from the processing fees charged above the allowable cash transaction limits shall be shared between CBN and the banks in the ratio of 40:60.
“Existing exemptions remain sustained for revenue generating accounts of the federal, state and local governments (lodgments only). Embassies, diplomatic missions, multilateral and aid donors in Nigeria are also exempted from all processing fees relating to the cashless policy implementation,” the CBN explained.