…Orders Refunds To Customers
BY CHINYERE OBIORA, LAGOS –
Bowing to public pressure and emerging economic indices, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has suspended its earlier directive on the implementation of cashless policy rates.
Consequently, the apex bank has directed that all necessary refunds be made to customers affected by the now jettisoned policy that came into effect on April 1, 2017.
The CBN, which issued a circular on the contentious policy after its 493rd Bankers Committee meeting on February 8, 2017, said in Abuja on Friday that: “The new policy already applied effective April 1, 2017 as contained in the circulars in reference above should be reversed and the old charges be applied. All necessary refunds should be made accordingly.”
In its new circular signed by Director, Banking and Payments System Department, Dipo Fatokun, the CBN directed that all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) should return to old charges and refund customers who had already been debited in the new regime.
The circular however stated that the existing policy before the announcement of the new policy shall still be operational in Abuja, Lagos, Abia, Anambra, Ogun, Kano and Rivers States.
“You will recall that a directive was issued on the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy vide our circulars with reference numbers BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/04/001 dated February 21 and BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/04/002 dated March 16”, the circular stated.
It further said, “Please note that the new withdrawal and deposit processing fee charges above the threshold, as contained in the circulars referenced above, are hereby suspended until further notice. The position of the policy shall now revert to the status quo ante.”
The old charges are three (3) per cent processing fee for withdrawals above N500,000 in the individual category and five (5) per cent for withdrawals above N3 million.
Amidst scathing criticisms by some experts and bank customers, the CBN had ordered DMBs to charge five (5) per cent and 10 per cent rates on deposits and withdrawals above N40m in the corporate category. It also set 1.5 per cent and two (2) per cent for deposits ranging between N500,000 and N1 million in the individual category.