14 November 2012

Nigeria: Banks Stop N100 Inter-Bank ATM Charges

Photo: Leadership
ATM machine

Managing Directors of banks operating in the country, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the aegis of the Bankers' Committee have unanimously decided to stop all charges on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) transactions.

This means that the N100 currently charged by banks when customers use their ATM cards on machines other than those of their banks would no longer the charged going forward.

This is as the CBN is to commence joint supervision of stockbroking firms with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Representatives of the Committee comprising Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Plc Mr Bisi Onasanya, Managing Director of Union Bank Plc, Mr Emeka Emuwa, Acting Managing Director, Keystone Bank, Dr Shehu Mohammed and CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs Agnes Olatokunbo Martins, who briefed the media at the end of their meeting yesterday in Abuja, said the decision was taken to align with the practice in other parts of the world as well as to promote the financial inclusion strategy and Cashless Lagos Policy of the apex bank.

Onasanya said: "We have decided at the bankers' committee to stop forthwith charges for usage of ATMs. Presently, when you use the ATM of a bank other than your bank, there is a charge of a N100 which is borne by the account holder. We have decided that we will work out the modalities and with immediate effect pass on this cost to the respective banks. We will bear the cost of providing services so that no matter where you are withdrawing your money from you will not incur any charge. If you are a First Bank customer and use your ATM on other banks, it is free, you will no longer bear any cost."

Shedding more light on the CBN/SEC joint supervision of stockbrking firms, Mrs Agnes Martins, explained that this is in line with the new Holding Companies structure In the banking sector.

"Some of these stockbroking firms are owned by Holding Companies under the new banking structure and we don't want a situation whereby there are gaps that might be exploited and when we carry out the examinations jointly those kinds of gaps cannot be exploited.

"Going forward, we are going to be working with the Securities and Exchange Commission to carry out joint examination of stockbroking firms. Presently the CBN supervises the banks, but in the interest of financial stability, we are going to be working jointly with SEC to supervise the stock broking firms. Especially does ones that are owned by Holding Companies, under the new banking reforms. And this is just to ensure that financial stability is maintained," she said.

The bankers also said they were are working out a Mortgage liquidity facility which make it easier for individuals, civil servants and private sector employees to be able to access financing to acquire a home for themselves at acceptable duration and reasonable interest rate.

The committee also looked at the issue of flooding which it considered a national disaster.

"The bankers committee mandated all the CEOs to report back to their respective boards and get their mandates to make significant contribution towards this fundraising committee of the federal government," Dr Mohammed explained.

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