Customers of First Bank who use the Automated Teller Machines for cash withdrawals are to pay N100 monthly, with effect from this month, according to a notice. The notice for the new charge entitled, ‘Card Maintenance Fee,’ was displayed on some ATM machines in the Federal Capital Territory, News Agency of Nigeria reported in Abuja on Monday
“Dear valued customer, in order to serve you better, from March 2013, a monthly N100 card maintenance fee will be charged for all cash withdrawals within the month,” the notice read.
Some customers who spoke with NAN, however, condemned the introduction and called for sanctions from the regulatory body.
A legal practitioner Mrs Uju Nwanze, said the CBN should stop the charge.
“This is another way to get back the N100 charges that was stopped recently on use of ATM cards.
“These banks are good at exploiting people, they did not even give prior notice like sending text messages,” she said.
Also, Ejiro Fidel, a civil servant, said First Bank should not copy the new generation banks to rip off customers.
Fidel said, “This is unlike them. Civil servants use First Bank a lot because we believe they are better than most of these new banks.
“What maintenance are they doing on the card? This is very wrong and I hope that those in charge would stop them from doing so.”
Also reacting, an Architect, Tunde Badmus decried the subtleness of institutions in Nigeria, especially the financial institutions; “They are filled with rogues who if investigated very well, you will see embezzle at every chance they get. This charge is uncalled for. This is simply the reason why some things may never work in Nigeria. You are the same people encouraging the use of ATM and cashless society, yet you charge people for using it. Nigerians will rather keep their money at home or go to bank once a month to withdraw over the counter rather than subject themselves to the charge.”
In November 2012, the Bankers’ Committee in a meeting scrapped the N100 interbank charge on the use of ATM cards.
NAN reported that First Bank had, however, on February 11, increased its charges on interbank money transfer, against moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria for a downward review of bank charges on customers.