NIGERIAN BANK CHARGES & CBN’S POLICY – STAMP DUTY, CARD MAINTENANCE FEE, HARD WARE TOKEN, WITHDRAWAL FEE EXPLAINED!

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Effective from January 1, 2020 the Central Bank of Nigeria had instructed all commercial banks in Nigeria to comply to the CBN’s new regime of bank charges against customers for services rendered.

This directive contained in the new Guide to Bank Charges, as published in The Voice of Nigeria stated that the withdrawal fee charged for the use of other banks’ ATM has been reduced from N65 to N35.

Card maintenance fee has been reviewed to N50 every three month (quarterly), from the initial N52 charged on a monthly period. Yearly card maintenance fee on foreign currency denominated cards is reduced to $10 from $20. The guide released by the CBN also contains major changes on electronic transactions charges in Nigeria.

A graduated fee scale for electronic transfers to replace the current flat fee of N50 will begin, as transfers below N10,000 will attract a maximum charge of N10; transfers between N5,001 and N50,000 will attract a charge of N25; and transfers above N50,000, will attract a charge of N50.

The charge for hardware token will be on a cost-recovery basis subject to a maximum of N2,500 from previous maximum charge of N3,500, while the fee SMS mandatory alert will be on cost recovery from previous maximum charge of N4.

Bill payment via e-channels will attract a maximum charge of N500 from 0.75 per cent of the transaction value subject to a maximum of N1,200.

Now, to explain these concepts in light of the current banking experience of the average Nigerian bank customer, beginning from when the new policy became effective. Stamp duty is a stamp impressed by means of a die as an adhesive stamp for denoting any duty or fee and is regulated by the Stamp Duties Act, Cap, 441LFN, 1990. This charge is incurred by the destination account.

Until January 1, 2020, Stamp duty charge was only payable on electronic transfers and cash payments into current accounts. An exception was given to payments by cheques because their stamp duty charges have already been paid; the Stamp duty seal is usually placed on the lower left side of a cheque. The difference now is that the CBN has only made an extension to other bank customers, reminding them that they now have to pay a tax to the government for cash deposits above N10,000 into their account whether by manual deposits or via electronic transfer. The bill however exempts stamp duty charges from bank transfers between two accounts owned by the same person or organization.

Well, this is not the case with most Nigerian banks; many whom have systematically introduced variations to these charges. A popular bank for example, charge N10.75 for transfers of less than N5000, which is outside the N10 maximum charge specified by the CBN. And as for the exemption on stamp duty for bank transfers between two accounts owned by the same person or organisation, one can rightly say it is non-existent, as banks conveniently ignore this when the sender account is from a different bank, but owned by the same customer.

Additional Source: Nairametrics

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Author: Juliet Jonathan

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