Banks have made huge income by charging customers N200 for every withdrawal over the counter owing to the failure of some Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to function properly in the country.
Some customers who besieged their banks to make last minute withdrawals were disappointed as they were unable to access funds from the ATMs forcing many to join the long queues in the banks to withdraw using their cheque books or tellers.
Banks charged N200 for each withdrawal over-the -counter by customers, a charge initially put in place to discourage customers from going into the banking hall for small ticket transactions.
Since early last week, some bank networks began to misbehave while some ATMs started to dry-up. Some customers were seen around the bank premises, raising their voices in dismay at the security officials and the failure of the banks to fund the machines.
When Daily Trust visited some banks in Lagos, Ogun and Rivers states, our reporters observed long queues in most of the Deposit Money Banks’ (DMBs) ATM points.
At Oba Akran in Ikeja, Oshodi and Marina in the Lagos metropolis, there were long queues of bank customers lamenting that they had visited several ATMs since day break but could not withdraw their hard earned money.
Similarly, in Agege, Egbeda and Iyana Ipaja, depositors were seen fighting, with security men attached to the banks finding it difficult to curtail the huge crowd.
Some depositors could not withstand the stress and later left, while those that had no alternative waited for hours to get their turn and eventually access to their funds.
A staff of one of the banks, who would not want his name mentioned because he was not authorised to speak to the press said, “the measure may have resulted from the united year end calendar for the banks that want to retain as much deposit as possible to close the month and the year on a positive note.
The banks visited our reporter included First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Ecobank, Zenith Bank, Skye Bank, Fidelity, Diamond and Access.
Some officials of the banks who spoke to Daily Trust, however, debunked allegations of cash crunch in the system and also denied that there was deliberate plan to extort bank customers, claiming that they were servicing the machines to work optimally during the long holiday.
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