Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, has called on deposit money banks (DMBs) in the country to end unofficial charges on bank accounts operated by their customers.
According to a statement on Monday, Lanre Lasisi, the speaker’s special adviser on media and publicity, said Gbajabiamila made the call when the board and management of Standard Chartered Bank, led by Lamin Manjang, the chief executive officer, visited him.
The speaker said there are claims that commercial banks exploit customers through what he described as “hidden charges.”
He said such unofficial deductions need to be addressed, alongside other exploitative measures such as high charges on loans.
“We have issues that come up in your industry, so this visit is a welcome development. One of the issues at stake is the rate at which banks charge customers,” he said.
“There are claims that banks have hidden charges. This has come up a couple of times on the floor of the House. This is something that we should look into.”
On marketing methods adopted by many banks, Gbajabiamila said banks need to avoid any form of marketing which exploits their workers.
He expressed concern over marketers moving from one house or office to another in order to meet targets given to them by the banks.
“You have corporations in the UK and other parts of the world. What obtains here in banking, in terms of marketing – sending people to go and knock at people’s offices and all that; does it obtain in those places?” he asked.
“If it doesn’t obtain in those countries, it is not international best practice; why should it obtain here?
“We are here to support you. Whatever we need to do, we should do it to support you. We need to know the kind of marketing that takes place. Is it digital marketing?
“We also have to set realistic targets for the marketers. We have the responsibility to protect Nigerians, and we also have the responsibility not to kill your business. So, it is a delicate situation.”
In his remark, the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, said the marketing approach identified by the speaker is not peculiar to Nigeria but added that it must be guided by ethics.
Manjang, a Gambian who took over leadership of the bank in 2019, said his visit was necessitated by the need to reiterate the bank’s commitment to Nigeria.
“It is not peculiar to Nigeria, but it has to be ethical. Teams usually go round, but the ethical conduct has to be there,” he said.
“You need to have marketing for people to know what you offer. If there are any abuses or conducts that are not ideal, they should be called out and addressed.”