CBN faults banks on ATM cash withdrawal limits

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By Emeka Anaeto, Economy Editor

LAGOS — The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday disagreed with the restructuring some banks have effected in their debit card, otherwise known as Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) services as well as some measures they introduced on foreign cash and e-payment transactions this week.

Also some of the banks have indicated that they can allow $10,000 withdrawal in a single transaction that would cover for one month maximum limit while others have imposed $300 daily limit on POS/online spending.Some banks had early this week imposed N60,000 per day limit on ATM withdrawals while also limiting foreign currency withdrawal per day to $300.

CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Muazu, told Vanguard, yesterday, that the apex bank policy was just on ATM cash withdrawal limit of $300 per day and POS/online purchases abroad which has a limit of $50,000 per annum.

He stated that the apex bank’s policy does not affect or stipulate any limit for domestic (Naira). He also added that the $10,000 single transaction limit even if it stays within the $50,000 annual limit stipulated by CBN is in violation of the rule.

Muazu also explained that the basic thrust of the policy on withdrawal limits in foreign transactions was to curb abuse of the exchange system while preventing people from trading with their ATMs abroad which, according to him, eats into the country’s foreign reserve.

In the wake of the apex bank’s measures against speculative demands for foreign exchange, banks have followed with series of actions limiting volume of transactions allowable on electronic payment cards.

In the new arrangement, all ATMs that were hitherto enabled for domestic and foreign transactions were restructured to limit Naira cash withdrawal at ATM machines to N60,000 per day while foreign currency is $300 per day.  Previously, the domestic withdrawal limit was N150,000.00 per day.

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