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Banks refund N5.3bn to aggrieved customers
As part of current moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enhance consumer protection in the banking sector, its Consumer and Financial Protection Department (CFPD) has so far assisted aggrieved bank customers recovered a total sum of N5.03 billion and $201. 375, out of N8.59 billion from banks.
In its paper entitled: Consumer protection drive of the CBN, presented at the interaction session with industrial unions, organised by CBN and Unite Consult in Lagos at the weekend, Deputy Director in the department, Mr I.T Nwoha, disclosed that as at April this year, the department had received about 3,645 complaints and have processed about 3,571 of them, adding that customers were impressed with the quick resolution of their petitions.
He noted that building confidence in the banking sector through consumer protection and other regulatory efforts was important in view of the new resolve of CBN to continuously protect bank customers.
“Our aim is to ensure that consumers receive appropriate protection with the CBN acting as the consumer’s advo- cate, setting standards of customers’ service for the industry and ensuring that customers are treated fairly in all their dealings with the industry,” he said.
Iwoha explained that the department’s responsibilities revolve round financial literacy and education; compliant management; data and identity protection, and collaboration with stakeholders, among others.
He disclosed that the department’s activities were enhanced through circulars, creation of consumer help desks in all its branches nationwide and head office, sensitisation, guide to the bank charges and regular monitoring to ensure banks comply with rules when dealing with their customers.
He further emphasised that a strategic change in consumer protection could only take place with competent and committed workforce that is constantly exposed to training and development.
“A key determinant in the coming period will be the desire of the banks to be guided by disclosure of key information; treatment of consumers fairly and ethically and offer recourse mechanisms for effective resolution of errors, complaints and disputes,” he stated.