The Central Bank of Nigeria has urged the banks to adhere to its orders on customer complaints resolution or be ready to face sanctions.
In a circular on ‘Deployment of the Consumer Complaints Management System’ on Friday, which was signed by a Director of the CBN, Kofo Salam-Alada, and released to the lending institutions, it stated that it would apply the necessary sanctions on infractions.
The circular read, “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.”
In addition, it added, the BOFIs were 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.
In its half-year report, the CBN disclosed 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.
The complaints were mainly in respect of excess charges, frauds, dishonoured guarantees and unauthorised deductions/transfers, among others.
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, according to the CBN.
The CBN said 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.