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Four banks record 477,405 unresolved complaints in 12 months –Reports

FOUR of Nigeria’s major banks logged a total of 477,405 outstanding customer complaints over the course of a year, from January 1 to December 31, 2020.

Zenith, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Access Bank are the banks involved.

The estimates were derived from a review of the banks’ annual financial reports for 2020.

According to the statistics, the number of unresolved complaints filed by banks in 2021 increased by 172,399 from 305,791 in December 2020.

The Consumer Protection Framework was released by the Central Bank of Nigeria in November 2016 with the goal of increasing customer confidence in the financial sector.

Later in 2019, the apex bank issued the consumer protection regulation, which aims to provide banks with guidelines on how to handle customer complaints, among other things.

The apex bank noted in a circular titled, “Issuance of Consumer Protection Regulation”, dated December 20 2019, that the regulations were meant to protect consumers from unfair and exploitative practices by institutions in their dealings with the consumers.”

It was also designed to combat unethical and unscrupulous behaviors that erode consumer trust in financial products and services.

By assuring access to grievances resolution mechanisms that are “free, fair, fast, transparent, accessible, and independent,” among other things, the laws were intended to address the supply of inadequate and misleading information and/or failure to disclose material information.

Banks continue to have a high rate of unresolved complaints despite these policies and laws.

According to a breakdown of total unresolved complaints by the four banks, Access Bank received 2.2 million customer complaints over the time period under consideration.

According to the bank, 2.1 million complaints were addressed, but pending complaints carried over from the previous year raised the total number of unresolved complaints to 306,116 by the end of 2021, out of 2.2 million received that year.

As of December 2021, there were 166,314 unresolved complaints with Zenith Bank. This number is nearly quadruple what was recorded in 2021. (83,899).

GTB received a total of 673.7 million complaints in connection with claims totaling N3.09 billion.

While about 672.1 million complaints were successfully resolved, 1,605 complaints remained unresolved due to carried-over situations.

Furthermore, the bank stated that N365.5 million was refunded to consumers during the year.

In its annual report for 2021, UBA stated that it received 464,391 complaints in 2021, of which 461,162 were resolved, 3,370 are still outstanding, and 38 were elevated to the CBN for assistance.

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