By Nume Ekeghe
In a bid to enhance financial stability and promote consumer confidence in the banking system, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced consumer complaints management system (CCMS).
In a circular signed by the Director Consumer Protection Department, CBN, Mr. Kofo Salam-Alada, the banking sector regulator explained that the policy becomes effective from January 2, 2019.
It stated: “The Central Bank of Nigeria in furtherance of its mandate to promote a stable financial system embarked on the development of the consumer complaints management system, an automated system aimed at easing complaints management to engender public confidence in the financial system.
“With effect from 2nd January, 201, Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFIs) are required to assign tracking number for every complaint received from their consumers; issue an acknowledgement, which shall contain the assigned tracking number to the consumer and commerce upload of complaints to the CCMS on a daily basis.”
It further stated: “In addition, BOFIs are enjoined to always comply with the timeless stipulated in the CCMS for resolution of the various categories of complaints.”
“Please note that non-compliance with this circular shall attract sanctions in line with the banks and other financial institutions Act (BOFIA), Cap B3, LFN 20004.”
Also, in a separate report posted on its website, the central bank in its latest Consumer Expectations Survey Report states that the consumers’ overall confidence outlook improved in Q4 2018, showed that more consumers were optimistic in their outlook.
It states; “The index at 9.7 points was 8.7 points higher than the index in the corresponding period of 2017. Respondents attributed this favourable outlook to improved family income, family financial situation and economic condition. The consumer outlooks for the next quarter and next 12 months were positive at 33.2 and 28.4 points, respectively.
“This outlook could be attributed to the expected increase in net household income, the anticipated improvement in Nigeria’s economic conditions and expectations to save a bit and/or have plenty over savings in the next 12 months.”
It also stated that in the next 12 months most respondents expect prices of goods and services to rise with an index of 13.3 points. The major drivers would be rent, food & other household needs, telecommunication, electricity, debt payment and purchase of house.
On buying outlook, it states: “The overall buying conditions index for consumers in the current quarter for big-ticket items stood at 46.1 points. This indicates that majority of consumers believed that the current quarter was not the ideal time to purchase big-ticket items like consumer durables, motor vehicles and house & lot.
“Overall buying intention index in the next twelve months stood at 50.3 index points, indicating that a good number of consumers intend to buy these items in the next 12 months.
“The buying intention indices for consumer durables, motor vehicles and house & lot were below 50 points, indicating that respondents have no plans to make these purchases in the next twelve months.
“However, the index for consumer durables stood close to 50, indicating that a few respondents are contemplating purchasing furniture, gas cookers and electronics in the next twelve months).”
It further added: “For rates outlook in the next 12 months, with indices of 5.0 and 6.6 points, consumers expect borrowing rate to rise while the naira is expected to appreciate in the next 12 months.”