Nigerian banks under the watch of Godwin Emefiele-led Central bank have been caught defrauding customers to the tune of billions of dollars via illegal deductions on foreign transactions.
Since December 2014, Nigerian banks have charged customers hidden fees on single international ATM withdrawals that convert Naira at the Black market rate and widely above the official Central Bank conversion rate.
The Central bank assisted in this fraud by reducing the international withdrawal rates to a daily N60,000 cap or $300. With each withdrawal of a permitted $280 in cash obtained at the ATM, Nigerians are billed upwards of $319 from most Nigerian debit cards, a whopping $39 extra per withdrawal. In Naira, a withdrawal of N63,140 charged to the card gives $280 at the ATM. This $280, converted at the official CBN rate of N199/$ would be only N55,720. Which leaves an additional N7,420 to the banks per daily transaction. This amount does not include the international ATM transaction fee of N330, additionally billed. N7,420 extra on each withdrawal, divided at the official CBN rate = $38 seized. Banks list international ATM transaction fees as N420. This means, if the official fee is taken out, an additional N7000, about $35 is gulped by the banks per customer per daily transaction.
If the total withdrawal amount in Naira (N63,140) as at this Friday, is converted to the $280 received from the ATM, this converts at a rate of 225 Naira to the dollar which is the running Black market rate.
When a Nigerian customer dips in his card into the ATM, he sees his balance in dollars, which is the current CBN rate. When he withdraws $280 cash, his receipt and balance reflects $319 withdrawn!
Intentionally, the banks do not separate the charges on the receipts or account page to show what the conversion rate is and what their charge is. This act enables their fraud by making clients unable to determine the whopping percent of their money the banks are coveting and the fact that the banks are working at the Black market rate as against CBN regulations.
The $35/withdrawal is pocketed by the banks who buy dollars form the Apex bank at the official rate.
From all Nigerian customers using ATM cards in travel, for study or all other purposes abroad, the Nigerian banks are raking up millions of dollars daily converting at the Black market rate.
This discovery is just one more instance where the Central bank, managed by former Zenith bank chair, Godwin Emefiele is assisting Nigerian bank cabal extort the masses unknowingly to the tune of billions of Naira.