Despite economic hardship brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s banks in collaboration with the central bank have continued to compound the burden of the Nigerian people.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had set account maintenance fees at a negotiable N1 per N1000 for current accounts only in respect of customer-induced debit transactions to the third parties and debit transfers/lodgments to the customer’s account in another bank.
Five tier-1 banks, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank and the United Bank for Africa customers paid a combined N18.4 billion as account maintenance fees to the nation’s tier-1 banks in the first quarter of the year.
The amount debited by the five tier-1 banks, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank and the United Bank for Africa, was 17.12 percent more than the N15.6 billion charged as account maintenance fees by the banks in the same quarter of 2019.
A break down of the banks’ financial statements revealed that the same Zenith Bank that declared N208.8 billion profit after tax for the year ended December 31, 2019 generated the most in terms of account maintenance charges.
The bank debited N5.7 billion from its customers in the first quarter of 2020. This was followed by the recently merged bank, Access Bank. The bank generated N3.9 billion.
Guaranty Trust bank debited N3.3 billion from customers’ accounts while the first bank and the United Bank for Africa Plc generated N3.1 billion and N2.3 billion, respectively.
However, the banks seem to have disregarded the ‘negotiable’ and max out earnings on Commission on Turnover (COT).