GTB, UBA, others failed to resolve 171,642 complaints from customers in 2021

FOUR Nigerian commercial banks failed to resolve a total of 171,642 complaints from customers in 2021.

The four banks are Zenith, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Access Bank.

The financial reports of the banks between January to December 31, 2021, examined by The ICIR reveal that a total of 171,642 complaints made by customers were not attended to.

The total amount claimed in the complaints was N196.2 billion but the banks refunded a total of N4.1 billion to customers.

This means the banks failed to refund their customers a total of N192.1 billion in claims from complaints they received.

A breakdown of the total unresolved complaints by the four banks shows that for the period under review, Access bank received a total of 2.2 million customer complaints with claims of a total of N193 billion.

The bank failed to resolve 85, 212 complaints and refunded N3.7 billion to its customers within the 2021 financial year.

For Zenith Bank, out of a total of 307,537 complaints received from customers, 82,415 were not resolved.

Zenith Bank customers claimed N35.2 million in the complaints but the bank only refunded N7.01 million.

In its 2021 financial report, GTB recorded a total of 673,772 customer complaints involving claims of N3.09 billion.

However, the bank refunded N7 million.

UBA disclosed in its annual report for 2021 that it received a total of 464,391 complaints, with 461,162 cases resolved within the period.

UBA’s customers claimed N71.2 million but the bank refunded N3.5 million.

The bank further disclosed that 3,370 complaints remain pending while 38 were escalated to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for intervention.

    The CBN introduced the consumer protection regulation in 2019 to provide guidelines for banks to deal with customer complaints.

    It was aimed at checking unethical and predatory practices that undermine consumer confidence in the use of financial products and services.

    The regulations were meant to tackle the provision of inadequate and misleading information and/or failure to disclose material information; by ensuring access to complaints redress mechanisms that are “free, fair, timely, transparent, accessible and independent” among others.

    Despite these policies and regulations, banks continue to record a high rate of unresolved complaints.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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