Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a new guideline on the management of dormant accounts.
The new policy aims at mopping up all dormant account balances and unclaimed balances in banks into a designated account it has created.
The guideline also stated that financial institutions that fail to comply with the new policy will be fined a sum of N2 million and would further pay a sum of N200,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by CBN.
AllNews Nigeria reached out to a few people who shared their opinion on the issue.
Ajbola Afolabi, a Stanbic Bank customer, described the CBN's new policy as an act of 'stealing', adding that as a bank customer, he can decide to keep his money in the bank idle for as long as possible.
"Shouldn't taking people's money without their consent be termed as stealing? This policy is obviously a breach of fundamental human rights.
"This is my money, my right, my prerogative. Therefore, I can keep my money idle as long as I want." Afolabi said.
Yusuf, another bank customer, said the new policy does not make any sense to him.
"The CBN's new policy on dormant accounts doesn't make a unit of sense to me.
"How will my money (whichever time I decide to claim it) become a source of national unhappiness?
"If my money is in my bank, even when the account becomes dormant, all I have to do is to approach my bank for reactivation and follow any other processes required.
"But this new kangaroo policy will make it impossible going forward.
"Many dormant accounts are owned by Nigerians in the diaspora. Does it mean the CBN want to take undue ownership of their hard-earned sweat?", he asked rhetorically.
Also, Gbolahan, a UBA customer said people whose accounts are dormant might probably not be in the country and might just leave the money in their account, therefore, the CBN does not have the right to move people's funds.
"I have someone who has left the country for over 20 years.
"Now, imagine if such a person has about N100,000 in his account and CBN decides to move such funds because the account is not active.
"How will he feel when he gets back to the country, and find out the money is no longer in his account? Disappointed!
"So, personally, I think this new policy won't be beneficial to banks' customers."
On his part, Tobilola Folahan, a Keystone Bank customer, lauded the CBN's new guideline saying it will help minimise the number of inactive accounts.
"From a regulatory standpoint, the CBN's guideline on dormant accounts seems reasonable as it helps to address the issue of unclaimed funds and encourages financial institutions to implement better customer engagement strategies to reduce the number of inactive accounts.
"However, some customers may view it as an infringement on their rights to do whatever they want with their money, especially if they have valid reasons for not using their accounts for an extended period.
"On the other hand, the penalty for non-compliance may seem steep, but it serves as a deterrent to ensure that financial institutions comply with the directive and prevent them from keeping customers' funds without their knowledge.
"There's also the possibility that some financial institutions may use the threat of the penalty to encourage customers to reactivate their dormant accounts, which could benefit both parties."
Also speaking, a GT Bank official at Alausa Branch who pleaded anonymity said the aim of the policy is to ensure that unclaimed balances in dormant accounts are put to good use.
He added that if the policy is followed strictly, it will boost the nation's economy and also reduce the number of dormant accounts in the country.
"According to the CBN, the move is aimed at ensuring that unclaimed balances in dormant accounts are put to good use.
"So if the policy is implemented and they make good use of this money, it will help in enhancing Nigeria's economic activity and reduce the number of dormant accounts that we have in this country."
"The CBN cannot just wake up one day and start moving people's funds into its account."
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