Diary of a Naija Banker

Yo-Yo Yo ….Guys, we are here again!

How y’all doing? I am you are keeping your head above waters? I know things seem a bit intense at the moment. Bhettt, here’s the goodnewsss…we’ll weather the storm. We are Naija people, a very resilient bunch. So you gat this!

Today, I just want to enlighten and empower you a lirru bit, as it’s said, knowledge is power. A lirru here and there to ease the financial stress. It’s quite a long read today, bhet totally worth it. Let me start by asking you, how well do you use your bank? Yes, your bank. A bank account is just beyond dumping money for safety and complaining when you are charged 4 Naira for SMS, lols. I hope you know you can switch to email alerts to stop getting debited for this. If you don’t have an email, it’s on you oh. Do you even know your legal right and privileges as a bank customer? Is not to go and be shouting at the customer service and be asking to see the manager every time. Hahaha. Sometimes, talk from a knowledge standpoint, you will get more traction that way.

Do you know your bank is obligated to treat you fairly? That you are to be provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale. As a customer, you are to be provided with products that perform as your banks have led you to expect, and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as you have been led to expect. Do you know there’s a consumer section of the CBN where you can send complaints regarding the services you have received from your bank? Trust me, no bank wants to be fined, more so over an issue that could have been easily resolved. Do you know that your bank cannot just close your account for whatever reason without pre-informing you?

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Moving on, do you know that your bank is supposed to automatically refund you between 24 – 72 hours of a failed atm withdrawal? 24 hrs for ON-US transactions (same card, on the same bank atm) and 72hrs for other banks. Do you know as a salary earner, you can have access to UPL (unsecured personal loans, meaning no collateral is needed to secure the loan) and a credit card, as long you receive what can be termed as a salary into the account every month? That is why you should have a salary account, it is a special type of current account that also gives you access to overdraft. That is, you can draw up to a certain amount pre-approved by your bank even if your actual balance is 0. You should also have access to what we call SALAD, short for “salary advance”. If your bank is not offering you all these, I don’t know what you are still doing there o. These products are supposed to ease the financial burden, especially in these times. If you are bothered about CAM fees on a current account, just a day to the end of the month, move your bulk money to the savings accounts and allow it to stay till the first day of the month. That way, you should earn some interest on the money which should cover the CAM fees to be charged on the current account, you need to be calculating and smart about this, and you need to do your calculation well. Also, to earn this interest, make sure you don’t withdraw more than 3 times from the savings account. For business owners, there are hybrid current accounts that once you maintain a certain minimum balance by the end of the month, you don’t get charged account maintenance fees.

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Another banga! … Send 9,999 instead of 10,000 to avoid stamp duties. All those 10 Naira here and there eventually amount to something you know? Financial prudence is not beans o.

Do you know you have access to up to $ 4,000 for PTA (personal travel allowance) and BTA (business travel allowance) of up to $5,000 every quarter?  So you want to take a trip outside the country that will take you at least 6 hours to get to? PTA is your choice. Or are you taking a business trip? BTA is what you need.

For those in need of FX for other things, are you also aware that you have access to up to $15,000 in a quarter? This can be accessed to pay for medical bills, mortgages abroad, school fees and living expenses (living expenses has to be sent directly to the school though to be able to use it for this purpose)? So if the FX you need in a quarter is within this limit, stop dragging with aboki, simply go to your bank. Eligible businesses can also explore Form M.

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Don’t be suffering in silence o. Call up your bank, ask to speak with your relationship manager or customer service. Instead of taking loans from those other money lenders, or buying FX at exorbitant rates, explore the options with your bank first, they are usually cheaper!

One last one, do you know about mortgage banks? They are really underrated. If you are looking to buy a property, look for a couple of mortgage banks, ask around, do your research, you might just be surprised by the deals you might get.

I hope you read up to this point … Don’t say I didn’t do anything for you sha.

Hope to see that you remained on top of these times.

xoxoxo… Your fav Naija banker

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