Bill to regulate bank charges passes second reading

A bill for an Act to amend the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act has passed second reading in the House of Representatives. The amendment seeks to mandate banks and other financial institution in Nigeria to state in writing, all charges and fees accruing to any transactions in the banks. The bill which was sponsored by Rep. Jones Onyereri (Imo-PDP) also seeks to increase penalties to deter corporate and individual misconduct. Leading the debate, Onyereri said the bill seeks to amend the banking Act and to, among other things, regulate banks and other financial institutions. The legislator said, in line with the current economic realities, there was a need to deter incessant contravention of banking laws. He said that the bill, when amended will prohibit carrying on of such businesses in the country and streamline the operations of banks and financial institutions in Nigeria to conform with international best practices. Rep. Daniel Reyenieju (Delta-PDP) said there are many victims of arbitrary charges and that there was need for banks and financial institutions to be transparent. Reyenieju acknowledged that the banks were out to make profits but stressed that the process must be open for the customer to know. In his ruling, the Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to the House Committee on Banking and Currency for further legislative actions.

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