Thursday , June 1 2023

Did CBN Recently Order Reduction In Bank Charges? (Fact Check)

Over the weekend, some national news platforms reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a downward review of charges for electronic banking transactions.

According to the viral story, the apex bank announced a reduction in the amount payable for cash withdrawals from other banks’ automated teller machines (ATMs), known as Remote-on-Us, from N65 to N35 after the third withdrawal within the same month.

It also said the CBN cut interbank transfers to a maximum of N50 charge per transaction from N300.

The information was also widely circulated on blogs and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The news item, shared by multiple account users on Twitter, had garnered hundreds of retweets.

VERIFICATION

Checks by TheCable showed that the CBN posted a document titled, “Re: Guide to Charges by Banks, Other Financial and Non-Bank Financial Institutions”, on its website on Thursday.

The circular, dated December 20, 2019, was signed by Chibuzor Efobi, director, financial policy and regulation department of CBN.

“The revised Guide to Charges by Banks, Other Financial and Non-Bank Financial Institutions takes effect on January 1, 2020,” the circular reads.

In the revised guidelines, the apex bank reduced all bank charges, with some getting more than 50 per cent cut.

In 2019, TheCable had reported the story with the caption, “CBN reduces ATM withdrawal fee from N65 to N35”.

However, the story has been erroneously reported by some platforms as new development.

An official of the CBN communications unit told TheCable that the apex bank shared the document to enlighten bank customers that didn’t know about the reductions.

“The date is clearly stated there. I guess it was put there on the website because it was not there before now. This is to inform stakeholders that were not aware of the policy,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

“The date on the circular is the date it was released. The point is that there are different policies that from time to time, people are reminded.”

VERDICT

The viral reports that the CBN has just reduced electronic banking charges are misleading. The apex bank only reshared an old policy document from 2019. There is no fresh review by the bank.

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