The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a warning to banks regarding customer complaints. The CBN, in a recent guideline, said banks would be fined N2 million if they failed to acknowledge complaints from depositors.
The apex bank in a circular to all banks, other financial and non-bank financial institutions, said the objective of the guideline was to ensure fair treatment of customers, disclosure and transparency, responsible business conduct, as well as complaints handling and redress in accordance to the stipulated timeframe.
Why this matters? According to the CBN circular seen by Nairametrics, the Customer Protection Regulation will protect customers from/against
1 unfair and exploitative practices by Institutions in their dealings with the consumers;
2 unethical and predatory practices that undermine consumer confidence in the use of financial products and services;
3 the provision of inadequate and misleading information and/or failure to disclose material information;
4 The regulation will ensure access to complaint redress mechanisms that are free, fair, timely, transparent, accessible and independent; and
5 It will encourage transparency of Institutions in their dealings with consumers.
Ways to channel complaints: Apart from the traditional walk-in procedure, banks are expected to have several channels of communication available for their customers complaints. Some of the channels are: letters, e-mails, telephone lines, social media and digital software platforms. Within 24 hours of the complaint, banks are required to acknowledge and contact the customer.