The BOG recently issued a circular on the imposition of certain fees and charges on the customers of some Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions (“SDI’s”). Pursuant to its mandate under section 3 of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930) and in the interest of protecting customers, the BOG gave directives on the following:
1. Banks and SDI’s are to desist from charging “Account Maintenance Fees” on savings accounts. This does not include charges for services with explicit prior subscription by customers.
2. Banks and SDI’s are to cease levying penalties on customers who withdraw their own funds below certain thresholds from the banking halls.
3. Banks and SDI’s are barred from changing ownership of collaterals presented by borrowers to secure credit facilities.
4. Banks and SDI’s are not to impose penalties against customers who request account balances within banking halls
5. Penal charges on defaulting loan customers are to only be applied on the amount of the delayed interest or principal and not the total outstanding loan amount.
6. Banks and SDI’s are to ensure third party depositors append their full personal details and signatures on deposit slips at all times.
7. Banks and SDI’s who opt to use pre-determined insurance companies to underwrite borrowers’ loans are to apply the same premium charge by the underwriting companies.
8. Banks and SDI’s are not to retain insurance premiums collected from customers with the intention of implementing an internal insurance policy.
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