Gbajabiamila expresses concern over ‘hidden charges’ by banks

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has expressed concern over the way Deposit Money Banks charge account holders indiscriminately during transaction.

The Speaker said there appeared to be other ‘hidden’ charges that banks imposed on their customers apart from the transaction charges.

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Gbajabiamila, who noted that the House was concerned that such a practice was making customers helpless, called on Nigerian banks to come up with ways to address high charges on loans and other facilities they offered.

The Speaker said this when the board and management of Standard Chartered Bank, led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lamin Manjang, visited him, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi.

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Gbajabiamila also expressed concern over the kind of exploitative marketing some banks’ marketers were being subjected to and demanded to know if that was the practice all over the world.

The speaker recalled how he came up with a bill against corporate prostitution some years back but the legislation did not sail through.

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He said, “We are here to support you. Whatever we need to do, we should do it to support you. We need to know the kind of marketing that takes place. Is it digital marketing?

“We also have to set realistic targets for the marketers. We have the responsibility to protect Nigerians, and we also have the responsibility not to kill your business. So, it is a delicate situation.”

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The CEO of Standard Chartered Bank had earlier told the speaker that his bank was one of the oldest banks in Nigeria and that it had a strong presence in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

He said having taken the position of CEO of the bank two years ago, it was imperative to visit the Speaker to reiterate the bank’s commitment to Nigeria,

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He said the bank would continue to play its role to make Nigeria achieve its goals.

Responding later to the issue of exploitative marketing, Manjang said it was a practice that allowed banks to market their products to the customers, but that it had to be ethical.

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Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Victor Nwokolo, also noted that Nigerians had been battling with the issue of high interest rates by banks and that the issue needed to be tackled head-on.

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