How to file a complaint against your bank in Nigeria

How to file a complaint against your bank in Nigeria

In Nigeria, both old and young operate a bank account. The Banking industry helps in safeguarding of money and other valuables for future needs for some fees.

Bank transactions generally happen smoothly and with no issues. There are times when the bank fails in its service her customers, either in form of poor quality of service delivery, loss of money in transaction etc.

Most banks have in place robust customer complaint/handling systems in place, and there is a structure in place for customers to channel any grievances, however most bank customers are not aware of this and many atime, due to lack of time and or energy cum resources, the customer might want the issue to die a natural death.

This post is meant to guide all bank customers on steps they should follow when they want to make complaints about banks (or indeed any other financial institution) as regards their transactions, poor service and or loss of money.

Some of the issues bank customers in Nigeria face unfair/unexplained charges, poor customer service by bank staff, unauthorised transactions on customer accounts through bank transfers or ATM withdrawals etc. How do send your customer a birthday message and at the end of the month you are deducting N6 from his account. When did banks start bulk sms business? Are these supposed to be?

There are more to it than that.

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How to report any Nigerian Bank to the Central Bank of Nigeria

Step 1

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Immediately the problem is noticed/arise, the first step is to contact your bank through the quickest channels available. In this case, you can either call them on the customer care numbers available, or even contact them on social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.). Here, you get to understand/get clarified on why you are experiencing such issue.

However, whatever communication channel you started with, you are expected to make note of the details of the communication e.g. if a phone call, take down details of when you called, who you spoke to (the adviser’s name), what you said, and the response you received. All phone calls are recorded so this can easily be reviewed if there are issues later.

Step 2

If the issue remains unresolved, then you need to commence the official customer complaint process. All banks (and other financial institutions) are regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the CBN set out the process to be followed in its Circular – FPR/DIR/CIR/GEN/01/020 in 2011.

The customer is to send a complaint letter to the Bank. The CBN states that the banks must provide email addresses for complaints, so you may initially send the complaint by email, and then take a copy of the complaint to the bank branch.

Step 3

The CBN guidelines stated that the bank must resolve your complaint within 30 days of receipt of the complaint as extended from initial 14 days in FPR/DIR/CIR/GEN/04/009, signed by Kevin Amugo, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN.

If for some reason, the Bank has not satisfactorily resolved the complaint, you may take the issue to the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN. They will then attempt to resolve the complaint. Please note that you can only take the issue to the CBN after you have made a complaint to the bank and given them 30 days after receipt of the complaint, to resolve it. Apart from resolving the complaint, the CBN also has the powers to impose financial penalties on the Bank for failure to resolve your complaint.

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Send your complaint via email to: OR you may file a complaint using an online form provided by the CBN here –

Step 4

The CBN does not provide any timelines for dealing with the complaints, but this should be done within a reasonable time. Hopefully, the CBN resolves the complaint between you and the bank. However, if the CBN fails to resolve the complaint, you have the right to take the case to court. In any situation, you always have the right to take any complaint to court, but you have to exhaust all pre-court resolution options first. This final step should only be taken as a last resort, because taking a case to court is a fairly involved process and also potentially expensive. You should only take this step if the amount involved is considerable, and the decision to not resolve your complaint by the bank and the CBN is manifestly unjust.

Alternative Step

You should also note, as an aside that the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) is an available outlet for you to air your grievances. They may be able to assist you in putting pressure on the bank to resolve the complaint. However, please note that as banks and other financial institutions are regulated by the CBN, the CBN is the only body with the responsibility for reviewing complaints from those institutions, and so any complaints should be channelled there.

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