Frustration, to say the least, is what can be used to describe the experience of most bank customers who for weeks running onto months could not get their banking issues resolved by their banks. Issues such as ATM Dispensing Errors, Letters of Reference, Transfers made to wrong bank accounts, Airtime purchase errors, fraudulent withdrawals from accounts and lots more could take longer than necessary time to resolve by the bank.
The delays are often caused by the bureaucratic bottlenecks experienced by the bank officials whose responsibility is to get the issue resolved. Banks have also ensured these sometimes prolonged processes are in place to deter fraudulent claims for which the bank may be held liable.
The process and time of resolution depend on the type of complaint the bank customer is trying to get resolved. Some are not supposed to take more than 24 hours to resolve while some may take longer. Some errors like ATM dispense errors are automatically resolved within 24 hours whether you contact the bank or not, while issues like transfers to a wrong bank account or fraudulent withdrawals/unauthorized transactions will have you make a formal complaint to the bank in a reasonable time for the bank to take action.
All claims against Financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) must be lodged through the appropriate channels otherwise your complaint may not get the required attention. Cases of unauthorized debits, ATM dispense errors, Failed PoS transactions, Unauthorized transactions, Interest earned on Savings account but not paid, Interest overcharge, Unjustifiable deductions from your bank account, and others, must first be reported to your Bank for resolution.
While Commercial Banks, Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), Discount Houses and Micro Finance Banks (MFBs), all regulated by CBN must resolve your banking complaints within two weeks of the complaint. Only when your Bank is unable to resolved your complaint within 2 weeks that you may seek redress from CBN. This is as recommended by the CBN’s Consumer Protection Department.
Complaints of all types as long as it is against a Financial Institution under CBN supervision must be directed to the Consumer Protection Department of CBN. And can only be done as last resort only if your Financial Institution failed to resolve your complaints after 2 weeks of complain.
Where to forward your complaint to in CBN
You are to ensure that your complaint (Letter or email) is unambiguous, clear and concise. It is important that your letter contains the following details:
- Via e-mail: email@example.com
- Via a letter: Direct your letter to The Director, Consumer Protection Department, Central Business District, Abuja. Your letter can be submitted at the CBN head office, Abuja, or any Central Bank of Nigeria branch offices nationwide.
- You can also click the link below to have access to the CBN portal where you can lodge your complaints quickly if you want to avoid writing and sending emails to the CBN. https://www.cbn.gov.ng/Contacts/Complaints
- Your contact details (Name, Phone Number, Contact and e-mail address).
- Your Banking details, only your account number/s and account name/s (You are not to disclose your BVN, ATM, Mobile Banking and Online Banking details).
- Financial Institution details.
- History and Date of the transaction/s in dispute
- Claim/s details including amount (if any). You are to attach relevant documents to support your claim/s.
- Evidence that shows that you have lodged the complaint at your bank earlier.