CAFON founder, Sola Salako

Obinna Chima

The Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON), a non-profit making organisation has concluded arrangement to boycott banking services from today owing to what they described as arbitrary charges by commercial banks.

The group had highlighted the recently introduced stamp duty fee, account maintenance fee as some of the reasons for the protest.

According to CAFON founder, Sola Salako, the boycott, tagged: “No Banking Day,” was aimed at expressing Nigerians’ anger over outrageous charges on deposits, transfers and withdrawals. Salako is asking Nigerians to stay away from the banks today and to shun any transactions either on the counter or online with any bank.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently urged bank customers to report illegal and excessive charges by their banks to it (CBN). The apex regulator gave the advice in a statement titled: “Alleged Excess, Illegal Charges by Deposit Money Banks.”

According to the central bank, it had received a series of complaints from bank customers alleging excessive and, in some cases, illegal charges from their respective banks. It pointed out that the Revised Guide to Bank Charges clearly specifies allowable charges for all banking services and the CBN does not in any way condone the fleecing of banking customers under any guise.

“It was in the quest to provide a strong voice to banks’ customers and moderate the arbitrary charges that the CBN in 2012, established its Consumer Protection Department. For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN has investigated over 6000 complaints relating to unauthorised bank charges brought to its notice, following which banks have been compelled to refund the sum of over N6.2 billion to affected customers in 2015 alone.

“The CBN wishes to reiterate its resolve to continuously enforce the provision of the Revised Guide to Bank Charges and urges members of the public to report cases of infringement to enable it investigate and apply sanctions on any erring deposit money bank,” it added.