Statistics from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, showed that Nigerians abandoned 10 million bank accounts in 2018 as a result of economic hardship caused by sluggish economic growth, rising job losses and reduction in purchasing power occasioned by double digit inflation.
This means that in just one year, no banking transaction was performed in 10 million bank accounts.
According to the company, the number of bank accounts abandoned by bank customersthat is now labelled as ‘inactive bank accounts’ rose by 28 percent to 46.7 million in 2018 from 36.7 million in 2017.
According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guidelines on dormant accounts,
“an account shall become inactive if there has been no customer or depositor-initiated transaction for a period of six months after the last customer or depositor initiated transaction.”
According to NIBSS, inactive bank accounts grew by 73 percent while active bank accounts grew by 35 percent. While inactive bank accounts increased by 19.61 million to 46.7 million in 2018 from 27.09 million in 2014, active bank accounts rose by 24.75 million to 71.2 million in 2018 from 46.45 million in 2014.
Some reasons why Nigerians abandon their bank accounts
- Bank charges: Some Nigerians abandon their bank accounts due to some unnecessary bank charges. Most Nigerians do not like unnecessary reduction in their bank accounts and when this happens, they tend to withdraw all cash from that account and never use it for transactions.
An example is sighted with Miss Chinenye Ejiofor, a student in the higher institution, who abandoned her account because her bank deducted the sum N950 for card issuance feed. She said, ” I barely get enough money for myself, and now my bank is ripping me of the little i have. I do not even know what a card issuance feed is.”
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- Hacking: Some bank customers also abandon their accounts as a result of hackers. Imagine to have about N40,000 and all of a sudden it just vanishes from your account with no trace and explanation.
- Relocation: This is another important reason for bank dormancy. This scenario has to with bank customers that migrate to another country, thereby leaving their accounts inactive.