Bank customers are to pay a maintenance fee on current account transactions, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced at the weekend. The new fee is a negotiable current account maintenance fee not exceeding N1 per mille (N1 per N1,000,000) may be charged in respect of all customer-induced debit transactions.
CBN’s Financial Policy and Regulation Department Director Kelvin Amugo, who announced the fee through a circular to banks, said that the CBN was not oblivious of the impact of declining crude oil prices, operation of Treasury Single Account, and some other market turbulence on the viability and stability of the banking system.
In a circular titled: “Introduction of Negotiable Current Account Maintenance Fee not Exceeding N1/mille”, Amugo explained that the new fee was introduced in the interest of stability of the banking system.
The fee came weeks after the regulator struck out Commission on Transaction (COT) fee, which contributed significantly to lenders’ profitability.
He said the Revised Gide to Bank Charges (RGBC), which came into effect on April 1, 2013 provides for a phased elimination of COT charges. Under the guidelines, a zero COT regime was to come into effect from this month.
“The CBN noted that while the gradual phase out was being observed, some banks continued to charge account maintenance fees in addition to the reduced COT rate, which in effect amounted to double coincidence of charges,” he said.
Amugo said the negotiable current account maintenance fee was in furtherance of the mandate to promote and safeguard a sound financial system. He reminded lenders that 2016 zero COT regime as jointly agreed during the 311th Bankers’ Committee meeting of February 12, 2013 had come into effect and must be complied with.
The CBN, last week, started the implementation of the N50 stamp duty payment on every N1,000 transaction. The CBN said the policy was in line with the provisions of its enabling laws. It pointed out that with immediate effect, all banks and other financial institutions shall start charging N50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and the Federal Government Financial Regulations 2009.
The CBN stressed that all receipts given by any bank or other financial institutions in acknowledgment of services rendered in respect of electronic transfer and teller deposits from N1, 000 and above should be charged.
However, the bank pointed out that payments deposits or transfer by self to self whether inter or intra bank and any form of withdrawals/ transfer s from savings accounts should not be charged. The charges are only payable by receiving accounts.