Banks are institutions that help you keep your money and facilitate other financial transactions.
These transactions happen smoothly and with no issues. However, there are times when the bank fails in its service to you. It can be very annoying when bank customers experience such issues as unfair or unexplained charges, poor customer service by bank staff, unauthorised transactions on customer accounts through bank transfers or ATM withdrawals, etc.
It is even more frustrating when customers lodge complaint and nothing is done about it.
If you are having challenges sorting out one problem or the other with your bank or any financial institution, bellow are detailed steps you should follow as regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The first and most important step to take is to contact the bank through the quickest channels available. You can reach them on the customer care numbers available or on Social Media.
However, if the result is not satisfactory, you are advised to visit the bank yourself and lay the complaints.
It is also important to note the details of the communication e.g. if a phone call, take down details of when you called, who you spoke to, what you said, and the response you received. All phone calls are recorded so this can easily be reviewed if there are issues later.
Allow two weeks (it might be less in some banks) for the issue to be resolved.
If after lodging your complaint, your Bank still fails to engage you and resolve the complaint within two weeks as provided for in the ATM HELP DESK Circular, you have the right to escalate your complaint to the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of the CBN.
You can only direct your Complaints to CPD upon the failure of your Bank/Financial Institution to resolve your complaint within the 2 weeks timeline given by the CBN.
You can contact the CPD through the following channels:
Letter: Director, Consumer Protection Department
Central Business District, Abuja
Your letter of Complaint should be addressed to the Director, Consumer Protection Department. You can submit your letter at the CBN Head Office or at any of the Central Bank of Nigeria branches of nationwide.
The CBN deals with all financial related complaints so far as it is against Financial Institutions within its regulatory purview. How to Write an Effective Complaints Letter
How to write an effective complaints letter
Your complaint, according to the CBN, should be clear and concise to avoid ambiguity. The Complaint letter (petition) should contain amongst other things the following:
• Name, Address, Contact Phone Number & E-mail of the Complainant;
• Name of your Financial Institution;
• Personal banking details ( Do not include PIN & Passwords)
• History/Date of the transaction in dispute;
• Amount claimed (if any);
• Attach relevant documents to support your claim and;
• Evidence to show that you have first lodged the complaint at your bank.
The CBN noted that consumer protection was a critical requirement for financial system stability and an indispensable component for effective regulatory and supervisory framework.