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9 Banks Gain N296.87bn From E-Biz, Account Maintenance

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No fewer than nine deposit money banks in the country jointly made N296.87 billion from electronic banking charges as well as account maintenance charges in their 2021 financial year.

This is even as the 10 banks cumulatively pulled in N980.52 billion in profit after tax.

Zenith Bank, Wema Bank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Guaranty Trust Holding Company, United Bank for Africa, Sterling Bank, Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated had jointly made the N980.52 billion profit, an increase of 18 per cent over N830.8 which they jointly made in 2020.

Zenith Bank recorded the largest profit with N244.56 billion followed by GTCO and Access Bank which made N174.84 and N160.21 billion profit after tax respectively. ETI and UBA had also made profits in excess of N100 billion posting N146.33 billion and N118.67 billion respectively.

Of these 10 banks, nine of them, jointly pulled in an income of N218.28 billion from e-business activities while eight of them made N78.59 billion from account maintenance charges.

Zenith, FCMB, Wema, GTCO, UBA, Sterling, Stanbic IBTC, Fidelity and Access banks had been able to increase their e-banking operations’ income by 35.9 per cent compared to N160.58 billion that they made in 2020.

Of the N218.28 billion made from e-banking business, Access Bank recorded the highest income having made N66.28 billion followed by UBA which made N64.59 billion. Both banks had increased their income from e-business from N56.09 billion and N44.25 billion which they recorded in 2020.

Zenith bank had also made N37.47 billion in 2021 from e-business compared to N27.07 billion which it made in 2020, while GTCO made N21.08 billion as against N11.77 billion which it made in the same period of 2020.

With the account maintenance charge fixed at N200 per annum, Zenith, FCMB, Wema, GTCO, UBA, Sterling, Stanbic IBTC and Fidelity had jointly recorded an income of N78.59 billion from account maintenance, a 39.5 per cent increase compared to N56.32 billion made in 2020.

Of the eight banks, Zenith bank made the highest from account maintenance with N31.39 billion made in 2021 as against N21.99 billion which it made in 2020. GTC had also made N16.68 billion last year compared to N12.49 billion it made the previous year while UBA made N11.44 billion, an increase over N8.46 billion it made in 2020. Stanbic IBTC and FCMB had also made 5.09 billion and N4.8 billion from account maintenance charges in 2021 compared to N3.83 billion and N3.57 billion they made respectively in 2020.

In December 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) had issued a revised guide on bank charges which became effective on January 1, 2020. The guide had made some major cuts in fees that banks charge their customers, one of such is the reduction in electronic transactions.

According to the guide, electronic transfers of N5,000 and below will have a N10 transactions cost plus VAT and transfers of above N5000 but below N50,000 now attract N25 charges plus VAT, while transfers above N50,000 attracts N50 charge plus VAT. The charges on electronic transfers had been cut from N50 which most banks were charging.

As against the N65 previously charged by banks after third withdrawals on remote-on-us ATM transactions, the CBN had insisted that bank do not charge above N35 per withdrawal.

customers complain that they are still charged N65 and some banks make the charge on every remote-on-us withdrawals irrespective of if it is the first or second in the month.

Also, maintenance charges on cards was cut from N600 spread through the year to N200, a N400 shave off from what card holders would have to pay banks on an annual basis. This means that for cards linked to savings account, maintenance fee has been reduced to a maximum of N50 per quarter from N50 per month amounting to only N200 per annum instead of N600.

Similarly, maintenance charge for foreign currency card holders was also cut down to $10 or its equivalent from the previous charge of $20 yearly.

Other major changes in the charges include removal of Card Maintenance Fee (CAMF) on all cards linked to current accounts, a maximum of one naira per mille for customer induced debit transactions to third parties and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ account in other bank on current accounts only.

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