Bank customers face different challenges with their deposits daily which could be related to cash and electronic transactions or other related matters.
It can be very annoying and disturbing when you lodge your complaint to your bank without getting response, or feel you are being cheated.
While the banks play a relevant role in helping to keep your deposits with them asides other financial roles they perform, there could be hitches in services rendered.
You don’t have to give up if you are having challenges sorting out that problem with your account because there are other approaches that you could still take.
There are reliable ways to address your grievances against your bank or other financial institutions which are being regulated by the Central Bank.
According to the CBN, these are reliable ways to address some of your bank problems.
Contact your institution first
The CBN has directed all banks to expand their existing ATM help desk to handle all types of consumer complaints.
Therefore, if you have a complaint against your bank, you must first report the complaint at the bank/branch where the issue originated and then allow two weeks (it might be less in some banks) for the issue to be resolved.
What to do if your bank fails to resolve your complain
If after lodging your complaint your bank still fails to engage you and resolve the complaint within two weeks as provided for in the ATM help desk circular, you have the right to escalate your complaint to the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN.
Consumer Protection Department
According to the CBN, you can only direct your complaints to the CPD upon the failure of your bank/financial institution to resolve your complaint within the two weeks timeline given by the CBN.
You can contact the CPD through the following channels:
Letter: Director, Consumer Protection Department
Central Business District, Abuja
Your letter of complaint should be addressed to the Director, Consumer Protection Department.
You can submit your letter at the CBN head office or at any of the CBN’s branches of nationwide.
Does the CPD deal with all types of complaints?
The CBN deals with all financial related complaints so far as they are against financial institutions within its regulatory purview.
How to write an effective complaints letter
Your complaint, according to the CBN, should be clear and concise to avoid ambiguity. The complaint letter (petition) should contain among other things the following:
- Name, address, contact phone number and email of the complainant;
- Name of your financial institution;
- Personal banking details (Do not include PIN and passwords, please);
- History/date of the transaction in dispute;
- Amount claimed (if any);
- Attach relevant documents to support your claim and;
- Evidence to show that you have first lodged the complaint at your bank.
You can make your further inquiries and obtain additional information on the complaints handling process of the CBN from the complaints unit of your bank/financial institution or from CBN offices nationwide.
Banks in the country have returned huge sums of money in different currencies to some disgruntled depositors after they(banks) were reported to the Central Bank of Nigeria for various irregularities.
According to the CBN, its intervention in about 13,715 complaints brought before it, which were resolved by its Consumer Protection Department led to the return of N66.5bn, $18.5m, €26,319 and £9,085 to the complainants.
The CBN noted that consumer protection was a critical requirement for financial system stability and an indispensable component for effective regulatory and supervisory framework.
It added that the attainment of a sound financial system in Nigeria was to a large extent, predicated on an effective consumer protection regime, and that ceaseless vigilance and study were critical for effective market conduct regulation.
According to the CBN, some of the duties of the CPD are to identify unethical practices by financial institutions and develop mitigating guidelines; conduct compliance examinations; conduct spot-checks/special investigations; conduct customer service satisfaction surveys; and monitor financial institutions compliance with approved products features and other CP regulations.
It added that the department “also engages internal and external stakeholders on policies; provide policy recommendations to address observed gaps; and provides clarifications on consumer protection policies to the public.”