Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday directed all the twenty-four banks to disclose fully all rates and charges associated with their products and services with a view to stemming all forms of sharp practices in the financial sector of the nation’s economy.
Sanusi gave the hint while speaking on ‘Regulating the Banking Industry: Are Consumers in Focus?’ during the consumer interactive forum organised by Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in Abuja.
The apex bank has also commenced the review of the code of corporate governance for Nigerian banks which was issued in 2006 with a view to strengthening consumer protection by emphasising transparency and full disclosure in the banks’ service offerings.
He said “the CBN has commenced the process of reviewing the Code of Governance for Banks in Nigeria. The Code of Corporate Governance was issued in 2006.
The result of the review is expected to strengthen consumer protection by emphasising transparency and full disclosure in the banks’ service offerings. Greater scrutiny will be exercised on how banks push their products and services down to consumers by requiring banks to disclose, fully, all rates and charges associated with their products and services.
“The CBN understands that the nation will no longer tolerate the rampant incidents of hidden charges built into bank products. Consumer complaints concerning banks’ hidden charges represent a sizeable percentage of disputes between banks and their customers receiving the attention of the CBN.”
Sanusi, who expressed displeasure over the increasing rate of Automated Teller Machine’s (ATM) fraud and identity theft in the country, noted that the newly established financial policy and regulation department has started generating and analysing data on ATM and other financial frauds recorded in the country.
He said “the plan is to further sensitise top management to the plight of the consumer in order to articulate industry standard and best practice policies to limit the increase in these financial crimes. A number of meetings and discussions have been held with various stakeholders with a view to stemming the abuses. The CBN will soon unveil a definite directive to guide financial institutions that provide ATM services to consumers.”
Also speaking, Achike Udenwa, minister of commerce and industry, noted that the amendment of the Consumer Protection Act No. 66 of 1992 has reached advanced stage, which, he said, is aimed at making comprehensive provisions for consumer protection in Nigeria.