Tribunal place N120m fine on Bank over failed transactions.

Banks and financial institutions are affected as the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has imposed the sum of N120 million fine against the Stanbic IBTC Bank to be paid into the tribunal’s account over failure to make a transfer for a customer.

Without consideration on the outcome of the tribunal, the panel convicted the bank for contravening the provisions of Section 130(1)(a) of the FCCP Act, 2018 and Section 5(2)(8) and (9) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Regulation on Instant Interbank Electronic Transfers for failing to comply with 10 minutes mandatory timeline for transfers as guided by sections 154 and 155 of the FCCP Act.

The lead judgment delivered by Sola Sakalo-Ajulo, also awarded N5 million to the Claimant in general damages but did not award his claim for compensatory and exemplary damages of N3 million.

The orders followed a petition by a customer, Clement Osuya challenging the failure of the bank on two occasions to transfer the sum of N500,000 from his IBTC account to another of his account, which he claimed was for the payment of school fees for his children.

According to him on September 8, last year, in Abuja, he filled out a form under NIPS Instant Payment option for a transfer of the sum of N500, 000 to his other bank account which was not delivered after he was debited, which forced him to visit the bank the following day for a reversal, and made another transfer which was not also delivered after he was debited.

The bank, through its counsel, Mr. Marcel Osigbemhe, had blamed the failure of the transaction to the third-party NIPS service, which the tribunal rejected.

However, in his dissenting judgement, Chuma Mbonu held that the preliminary objection of the IBTC was meritorious as the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the claim as it was not a regular court as described under Section 146 of the FCCP Act, and that its powers rests on the appellate level of the Commission’s complaints’ investigation.

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