Senate tells CBN to stop ATM card maintenance fee

The Nigerian Senate Wednesday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the monthly Automated Teller Machine card maintenance fee imposed on users by commercial banks.

The red chamber described the maintenance fee as excessive and illegal.

It also resolved to investigate the charges by commercial banks.

These were some of the resolutions reached by the lawmakers at the plenary on Wednesday, while adopting a motion moved by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, entitled, ‘Illicit and Excessive Charges by Nigerian Banks on Customers’ Accounts with Particular Focus on ATM Maintenance and Withdrawal Charges’.

The Senate resolved to “direct the committees on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of the ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.”

The upper chamber of the National Assembly also mandated the committees to invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to explain why the official charges as approved by the bank were skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.

The lawmakers further resolved to urge the CBN to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers’ accounts and instruct the banks to reconfigure their ATMs to discharge up to N40,000 per withdrawal, pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.

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