it is not the responsibility of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) to decide how much banks should programme Automated Teller Machines (ATMS) to dispense, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, the apex bank’s Director, Corporate Communications.
He stated this in Lagos on Thursday, in response to questions regarding to the ATMs alterations by deposit money banks, following the apex bank’s release of the revised guide to bank charges.
The revised policy which became effective on January 1, 2020, caused some banks to alter their machines to dispense maximum between N5,000 to N10,000 to other bank card holders, so as to beat CBN’s reduction of charges.
The CBN reduced N65 charged on Remote-on-Us ATM after the third withdrawal in a month to N35. (“Remote-on-Us” transaction is when a card holder goes to the ATM machine of another bank other than his or her own bank to make a withdrawal).
“There is no prescription by us to the banks that they must give out a certain amount per withdrawal to anybody.
“Banks decide how much they are to dispense in their ATMs.
“So, the way customers now look at it, it’s as if everything banks do, we must hold them by the throat.
“As regulators, it is not our job; apart from protecting consumers of financial services, we are also working to ensure that deposit money banks work efficiently and competitively to remain in the business of providing all the services,” Okoroafor said.
He noted that the fact that the job of the apex bank was to regulate financial activities of banks, it did not mean that it must regulate everything.
According to him, some aspects are left so that they constitute a point of competition among banks.
He urged people to make use of electronic transfers and lay less emphasis on withdrawal of cash.
He stressed that ATMs were not supposed to be for huge withdrawals, but, for minor cash needs.
He, therefore, advised consumers who felt that they were not getting fair treatment from their banks to report to the CBN or transfer their monies to another bank.
However, he assured that the CBN would look into the matter and take appropriate action.