The Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and other key stakeholders in the Nigerian economy have asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend its regulatory functions to all activities of banks in the financial sector in order to strengthen the bank consolidation programme. They asked the CBN to closely supervise all charges levied by the banks.
Samuel Nzekwe, the president of ANAN said that apart from the interest rates charged by banks, which are often a function of the benchmark monetary policy rate, other charges by the banks have been found to be exorbitant. He said the banks are acting in dubious manners in their relationships with customers.
He said, “What the banks are currently doing is dubious and I think they are over-stepping their boundaries by increasing their charges on customers at will. It is a breach of trust on the relationship that exists between them and the customers. The CBN should stand up to help out in this situation by regulating the banks more effectively so that the customers can be protected. This is necessary because most customers have complained of some unjustifiable charges on them by their bankers and it is expected that the CBN should regulate every activities of the banks in the interest of the depositors, without whom the banks can not exist.”
He argued that there was the existence of a Bankers’ Tariff already benchmarked at 2.5 per cent as interest rate charge for the banks. The United States Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, had on Thursday said that the impact of global credit crisis could have been minimised if only the regulatory bank in the US effectively carried out its core function of regulating the banks. This, Nzekwe said, was a good lesson to be learnt by the CBN. He said if the people did not feel the impact of the banks on issues that affected them directly, then the purpose of the consolidation was meaningless.
The Director, Institute of Legal Studies, Bolaji Owosanoye said the CBN needed to step up its regulatory oversight functions on the banks, especially in key areas that bordered on charges which directly affect the customers.