Banks ration cash at ATMs, over-the-counter transactions

Commercial banks are rationing cash for Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and over-the-counter transactions.
The move indicates that the cash scarcity that crumbled the economy a few months back is not yet fully over.

Banks have also set diverse rules on ATMs and over-the-counter withdrawals based on cash availability.

At a new generation branch in Ibeju-Lekki Lagos, the bank’s ATMs were set at N5,000 per transaction and customers are allowed to withdraw a maximum of N40,000 per day.

Many other new generation banks are also limiting cash withdrawals on ATMs.

Lagos-based entrepreneur and Managing Director, Countryside Communication, Johnson Okanlawon, said commercial banks in Akowonjo, Lagos are restricting daily cash withdrawal on ATMs to between N20,000.00 and N30,000 while many ATMs are not dispensing cash.

He said many of the banks are also not able to pay N500,000 daily cash withdrawal over the counter transactions as directed by the CBN.

“Many of the banks are paying N50,000 and N100,000 for over the counter per day. It is really difficult to get cash from banks these days,” he said.

Okanlawon said the banks are keeping their eyes of rising cost of obtaining cash, and are not ready to allow customers withdrawal cash as specified by the CBN.

“Many banks now set their ATMs at N5,000 per transaction. After four withdrawals, the customer using another bank’s ATMs will start paying charges. These charges are to cover the cost of cash and fees associated with the transaction channels,” he said.

A bank manager with an old generation bank in Lagos said it costs between N500,000 and N700,000 logistics to move cash from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the branches of banks, and many banks are not ready to bear the costs.

He said: “It costs money to bring money to branches. We are relying on cash deposits from customers, which are not forth-coming.

We spend between N500,000 and N700,000 to move cash from the CBN to branches. We wish these costs are avoidable. In many cases, we call businesses with huge cash receipts to bring cash and we pay them cheaper rate, instead of buying from the CBN.

Under the cash withdrawal limit policy, the CBN had placed cash withdrawal limits of maximum of N500,000 weekly on individuals and maximum N5 million weekly on corporate entities