The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set a six-year time limit within which all transaction-based complaints against financial institutions can be lodged.
A circular endorsed by its Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Udofia Obot, addressed to all banks, discount houses and other financial institutions, explained that the new policy became exigent following recent challenges in ensuring timely resolution of complaints from consumers of financial services against banks.
The circular stressed that the CBN’s consumer protection role had over the years been hampered by “non-availability of, or delays in receiving documentary evidences from both parties.” This, it stressed underscored the need to have a policy on “time bar” for complaints management in the financial services industry.
“Consequently, the CBN having consulted the relevant stakeholders in the financial services industry, and in line with provisions of limitation legislation; Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2013; and CBN Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Regulation for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria, 2013, hereby adopts a time limit of six years, effective from the date of the transaction, within which complaints against financial institutions shall be lodged,” it added.
However, the circular stated that the time limit would not apply to fraud cases; complaints already lodged with the financial institutions and CBN; and international electronic payment transactions which records are not retained beyond 180 days on the dispute resolution application (arbiter). The circular further explained that the latest circular supersedes the earlier circular dated February 16 ths year on the subject matter.