By Etuka Sunday
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Deposit Money Banks not to allow illicit transactions that would be inimical to the current transparent nature of the Banking System in the Country.
The Apex bank said, the warning was necessary considering the avalanche of allegations from customers of the Deposit Money Banks of fraudulent activities in the banks.
CBN in a statement by the Ag. Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac A. Okorafor said, ”CBN wishes to inform all customers of Deposit Money Banks, other stakeholders, and the general public that it is fully aware and indeed a part of the on-going investigations of certain financial transactions in some banks by law enforcement authorities.
“The CBN is also carrying out its own special examinations and investigations to ascertain the veracity of some allegations, as well as the extent and persons that may be involved in such activities.
“The Bank would like to reiterate that financial system stability remains a priority and therefore assures customers and stakeholders that it would not allow the Banking System to be used as a conduit for any illicit transactions.
“Some of these investigations are routine and only relate to isolated transactions, therefore it is important to state that the safety and soundness of the Nigerian banking industry remain strong,” the statement said.
Some of the banks’ customers, who preferred anonymity, alleged that the banks are fraudulent.
“The Banks are not trying at all; sometimes you get alerts of deductions from your account without detailed explanation why they do so. Within the intervals of 3 to 5 minutes you would be deducted of N150 to N300 for just no reasons,” the customer said.
Another said, “It is bad! I heard they used those deductions to pay their staff salaries.”
Recall, CBN through the intervention of its Consumer Protection Department created on May 29, 2012, recovered the sum of N8.6 billion from some of the banks.
The amount represented excess bank charges which Deposit Money Banks had fraudulently deducted from depositors, of which some of them were given a mandatory N2million fine.
Meanwhile, CBN had issued a warning, reminding the Banks of the need to maintain high ethical standards in the system, saying that investigation was on to ascertain the authenticity of the complaints.