By Tony Nwanne
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned the nation’s banks against poor services, asking them to shape up or close shop.
This is coming to the heels after series of complaints by customers of frustrations in completing their transactions at various branches or at Automotive Teller Machines (ATMs), most associated with system failures or poor network connectivity, mostly at nights and over the weekends.
Dipo Fatokun, the Director of Banking and Payment System Department of the CBN, threatened to sanction any bank found wanting. He urged the public not to withhold such complaints, but speak out against inefficiencies.
Refusing to condone the excuse of system failures, Fatokun said in a recent interview that “yes, there could be system issues, but it should be the exception and not the norm.”
As it is, the banking industry operations may soon be laden with the challenges of either malfunctioning of core banking software, inadequacy of the software, lack of trained personnel to operate them or negligence. This is because customers are increasingly turned down from updating their accounts except they go to the branch of domicile, on the grounds that it cannot be done through the unified core banking system. In other instances, funds transfers from one account to another, even within the same bank, are not completed, and may take up to one month or more, depending on the level of efficiency of the banks to return the funds to the owner’s account.
Reacting to the development, the CBN described such inefficiencies as unacceptable. With regard to money transfers, Fatokun said it was one of the simplest banking transactions. “After six minutes, the receiving account should be credited, if not, the bank should give a reason. Also the refund in the event of uncompleted transaction for one reason or another, should also take minutes not weeks or months.”