Mirabel White

Every day, many Nigerians visit banks to carry out transactions either through the internet or over the counter. This transactions most times are not free, as they come with a cost which most Nigerians are beginning to see as unbearable, with many of the perception that they are been ripped off daily.

Contrary to practices by their counterparts in other countries where financial institutions go all out to attract and keep customers, most Nigerian banks now engage in bank illegalities to defraud and extort money from innocent Nigerian citizens all in the name of bank charges which most times are nonexistent. One of such banks we learnt is Sterling Bank PLC.

In an audio sent to SecretReporters by a Nigerian Doctor based in the United States, the incessant charges by Sterling bank was brought to light as against public perception that most charges deducted from customers’ accounts by the bank were approved by CBN.

Our source, whose friend operates an account with Sterling bank according to his recorded conversation with the bank customer care gave 19,000USD (Six Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira) to his friend Kunle who resides in Nigeria to transfer to him in the states, but to their utmost surprise while trying to transfer the money, a cash deposit charge of 2% which is about 320USD (One Hundred and Fifteen thousand, Two hundred Naira) was placed on the account.  When he placed a call to the bank, the first customer care agent told him that the 2% charge applies to every cash deposits into any Sterling bank account.

SecretReporters also learnt that when the customer agent couldn’t convince our source on why the charge applied, she referred the call to another agent while placing the customer on hold for several minutes.  The second customer care agent by name Oshemo also insisted that the charge was for cash deposits into any account operated with sterling bank and the policy was initiated early last year by a bankers meeting held in Lagos but couldn’t confirm if the charge was an approved policy by Nigerian’s apex bank CBN.

To further prove that the silent thieves parading as a bank were fully aware that they were committing a fraudulent act, which is not in line with any known CBN policy, they pleaded tirelessly with the owner of the account who was outraged.

A transfer limit of 10,000USD also meant that our source had to part with more than just 320USD as there were other charges on the account apart from the superficial 2% for every cash deposit which many Nigerians who operate accounts with Sterling bank are made to pay unknowingly as it is alleged that there was no mail or text message sent to customers when the policy was initiated by Sterling bank Plc.


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