The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it recovered over N51.9bn illegally deducted by commercial banks and returned it to the customers.
This disclosure was made by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, in Port Harcourt during an interactive session with stakeholders, including labour union leaders, in the South-South zone.
According to him, the amount was illegally removed from the accounts of bank customers across the country in the past five years.
The spokesman further revealed that the recovery and return of the funds to customers became necessary after series of complaints on illegal deductions from their accounts by commercial banks got to the apex bank.
Giving the exact amount recovered and returned by the CBN Consumer Protection Department at N51,913,350,828.85, he explained that $18,191,444.19, €26.286,62 and £6,000 were also recovered within the period, The Punch reports
Represented by John Attah, an assistant director in the apex bank, Okorafor recalled that the CBN received 10,548 complaints, adding that the amounts recovered were from 5,746 resolved cases.
He said: “When such complaints are received, the CBN will embark on a thorough investigation of what happened and how the deductions were made. If we discover that the bank was wrong, we will write and order the bank to return the money to the customer’s account.
“We do not keep this kind of money in any special account. Someone owns it and the banks know the accounts from where they made the deductions. So, we mandate them to pay it back into the accounts.”
He, however, expressed the apex bank’s continued commitment to customers’ protection, adding that the interactive session was aimed at educating stakeholders, particularly labour unions, on some of the financial policy drives of the CBN.