The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it would henceforth sanction banks who fail to adhere to its orders on customers complaints resolution.
The CBN stated this in a circular signed by a Director at the bank, Kofo Salam-Alada on Friday.
In the circular titled ‘Deployment of the Consumer Complaints Management System’, the CBN said it would apply the necessary sanctions on infractions.
The circular read in part: “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, and an automated system aimed at easing complaints management to engender public confidence in the financial system.
“With effect from 2nd January, 2019, banks and other financial institutions are required to: Assign tracking number for every complaint received from their customers, issue an acknowledgement which shall contain the assigned tracking number to the customer, and commence upload of complaints to the CCMS on a daily basis.”
The CBN, in the circular, also added that the BOFIs are enjoined to always comply with the timelines 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, Cap B3, LFN 2004.
The apex bank had reported in its half-year report that the number of complaints it received from consumers of financial services rose to 1,439 in the first half of 2018 from 1,141 in the corresponding period of 2017.
According to the report, the complaints were mainly in respect of excess charges, frauds, dishonoured guarantees and unauthorised deductions/transfers, among others.
It also disclosed that a total of 2,451 complaints, including those outstanding from 2017, were resolved in the review period, compared with 1,270 complaints resolved in the same period of 2017.
The CBN further disclosed that total claims in the review period in local and foreign currencies amounted to N20.5bn, $163,479, £2,889.98 and €32.82, compared with N14.72bn, $2.42m and €6,940 in the corresponding period of 2017.
The CBN stated that the sums of N6.80bn, $119,349, £2,889.98 and €32.82 were refunded by financial institutions to their customers, compared with the sum of N7.21bn, $2.40m and €6,940, refunded in the same period of 2017.