Banking & Finance

Banks are ripping us through ATMs, customers cry out


Commercial bank customers within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried excess charges by banks through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawals.

Some customers, who spoke to newsmen at the weekend, said they dreaded making withdrawals using other banks’ ATMs because of the continued charge of N65 for every transaction.

According to the customers, most banks within the city centre have programmed their ATMs to dispense only N10,000 or less per transaction, thus ripping off customers withdrawing more than that amount.

The customers complained that if they had to withdraw N100,000 or more through other banks ATM, it meant they would lose so much money.

They, however, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant authorities to look into the matter so as to help poor Nigerians.

Agatha Young, a First Bank customer, said, “I live in Kubwa, one of the suburbs around the city centre and almost all the banks ATMs in my area dispense maximum of N10,000.

“Recently, I needed to withdraw N200,000 and my bank’s ATM was crowded, so I went to use another bank’s ATM only to discover that the machine was dispensing only N10,000 per transaction.

“I was only able to withdraw N150,000 because other customers were waiting on the queue and I was tired of going through the same process.

“I also discovered I was charged almost N1000 for that transaction as I had exceeded three withdrawal limit using the other bank’s ATM, which is outrageous.”

Sunday Mgbede, a Gurantee Trust Bank customer, residing in Nyanya, another suburb around the city centre also said most of the ATMs in his area dispensed maximum of N10,000 per transaction.

“If you want to make withdrawals at weekends around the Nyanya/Mararaba axis, you will discover that only few ATMs are dispensing over N10,000 per transaction.

“The concerned authorities should please look into this matter because people are suffering, there is no money in the country, yet banks want to make profit off customers.

“Even the N65 charge which CBN authorised should be charged after three transactions, I am not sure the banks follow the rule due to the debit alerts we receive after withdrawals.”

Another customer of First Bank, Erica Jonah, who narrated her experience, said she used her ATM card to withdraw N100,000 from another bank and discovered the machine was programmed to dispense N10,000 per transaction and was charged N65 per every transaction.

Meanwhile, Gift Agbo, a former bank worker, said most ATMs used by banks in the country were not designed for Nigeria’s currency and that is why the amount it dispensed was limited.

In its reaction, CBN Consumer Protection Department said it had received several complaints from bank customers over the low withdrawal limit set by banks on their ATMs.

Fada David, the Senior Manager, Complaints Management Division of the Department, assured customers that the apex bank was working to make sure that such complaints were addressed.

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