Fidelity Bank, Ecobank: Most Improved SME Banks

The 2019 Nigeria banking industry customer experience survey report recently published by KPMG Nigeria showed that Ecobank Nigeria recorded significant improvement in the SME segment of the survey.

According to the report, analysis of performance in the SME segment reveals dynamism in the 2019 ranking. Despite lower levels of overall satisfaction for SMEs, Fidelity Bank and Ecobank made the greatest improvements with both banks moving up more than four places into the top five banks. FCMB emerged First while Access Bank came Third.

In the retail segment, the top two performers have remained the same for the fourth consecutive year.  GTBank replaced Zenith Bank as the top-rated bank in the 2019 ranking. Sterling Bank, First Bank and UBA are the biggest movers in 2019, coming in 3rd, 5th and 7th places respectively.

In the wholesale segment, Citi Bank and GTBank maintained top spots from previous year ranking while new entrants Standard Chartered and Access Bank make the top five positions at 3rd and 5th places, respectively.

KPMG Nigeria has conducted the research survey since 2007. The researchers have asked customers across financial market segments about their experience with their banks. Over the period, more than 200,000 customers were surveyed across the country.

The 2019 survey research was conducted through face-to-face and online survey methodology completed Q2 and Q3 2019. The survey covered 25,466 retail customers, 3,045 SMEs and 369 commercial/corporate organisations.

CBN Reduces Charges For Electronic Transfers, ATM Withdrawals

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cut charges for electronic transfer, ATM withdrawals and card maintenance, with effect from January 1, 2020.

According to the latest Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions, customers will pay N10 for electronic transfers below N5,000, N25 for electronic transfer between N5,000 and N50,000, and N50 for electronic transfer above N50,000.

Bank customers now pay N50 charge for electronic transfers below N500,000.

The new Guide also slashes charges for cash withdrawal via other banks’ ATM to a “maximum of N35 after the third withdrawal within the same month.”  This charge is now “N65 after the third withdrawal within the same month.”

The CBN further removed Card Maintenance Fee on cards linked to current accounts, with a maximum of one Naira per mille for debit transactions initiated by customers on behalf of third parties, and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ current accounts in other banks.

The CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor says the current NIP charges apply to use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), and purchase with cash-back will attract a charge of N100 per N20,000 subject to cumulative N60,000 daily withdrawal. For cards linked to savings account, maintenance fee will be a maximum of N50 per quarter. It is now N50 per month.

Furthermore, there will be no charge for reactivation or closure of savings, current and domiciliary accounts and customers’ status inquiries like confirmation letter, letter of non-indebtedness and reference letter will be N500 per request.

The Guide prescribes a penalty of N2,000,000 per infraction, or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time, for financial institutions that breach its provisions or directive arising from them

The Guide also states that an infraction by a bank shall attract a further penalty of N2,000,000 daily until its directive is complied with or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.

The Guide requires a bank to log every customer complaint into the Consumer Complaints Management System, generate a unique reference code for each complaint, and give the code to the customer. Failure to do that would be a breach which attracts a penalty of N1,000,000.

The new Guide replaces the Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions of 2017.