Save the Consumer Initiative, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has appealed to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to abolish its policy of confiscation of card withheld by Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in commercial banks.
Mr Aliyu Ilias, Executive Director of the group said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said commercial banks operating in the country had been confiscating cards belonging to customers of other banks seized by their ATMs under the instruction of CBN.
“We received complaints from bank customers on the issue and this was further verified through a survey.
“Commercial banks have over the years perfected and operated a system of confiscation of cards including but not limited to credit and debit cards.
“These belong to customers of other banks used on their ATMs and same withheld by the banks.
“This practice put in place by commercial banks in Nigeria ultimately forced cardholders to request and to pay for issuance of new cards by their respective banks,” Ilias said
He said that the practice had placed heavy burden on bank customers and cardholders.
He said that the withholding of cards by ATMs was not most of the times, the fault of customers, cardholders or users as the case may be, adding that, it was usually due to ATMs fault or poor connectivity from the banks.
“Why then should the customer or cardholder be made to bear the brunt of applying and paying for a new card?
“A customer who has been frustrated due to service failure upon which his card is withheld and possibly not meeting his financial needs as at when due is further put through harrowing experience,” he said.
He added that it would make such customers incur more financial and logistic burden of obtaining new cards.
Illias said that complaints received and survey conducted showed that customers and cardholders were unhappy with the practice and its attendant financial and logistic consequences.