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Tuesday 15th June, 2021

BANKING

Access Bank Returns Deducted Stamp Duty Charge To Customers, Halts Process

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Access Bank Plc has apologised to its customers and said it will bear the cost of the stamp duty it originally deducted from its customers’ accounts, covering February through April 2020.

Recall that last week, DigitalTimesNG reported that Access Bank Plc had said through an email to its customers that it recently discovered a mistake in its operations records, whereby stamp duty charges on applicable transactions were not passed on to customers.

The bank said in the mail that the omissions occurred between February 1st, 2020, and April 30th, 2020.

Though the tier-1 bank said it was deeply apologetic for this error, it, however, noted that all concerned customers were to prepare to pay off the accrued charges.

Many Access Bank customers, however, claimed on Social media they did not see the bank’s message announcing its plans to deduct the accrued charges.

Some customers said the deductions, even if legal, were outrageous and beyond what was necessary, with #AccessBankScam trending at number one spot in Nigeria as at the time of writing this report.

But the bank said in a statement via a Twitter post on Sunday that it will no longer be going forward with its earlier decision to collect accrued stamp duty charges for February through to April 2020, from its customers.

DigitalTimesNG gathered that the bank’s decision to halt the deductions followed an avalanche of social media backlash against the tier-1 bank this weekend, as customers expressed their utter dissatisfaction over the debits.

Access Bank explained in the tweet that the decision to cancel the stamp duty collection was because it cared about its customers but however, maintained that its earlier decision to withdraw the accrued charges was legal.

The bank said it will go ahead and bear the cost of the stamp duty for February through to April 2020 alone on behalf of its customers.

According to the bank, “Earlier this week, we informed all our customers that we had inadvertently not charged stamp duty on some accounts from February to April 2020 as mandated by the Federal Government.

“Stamp duty collection is in compliance with the mandate of the Finance Act, 2019 (Stamp Duty Act, Cap S8). We are required by law to apply this charge as applicable and remit all funds collected to the Federal Government.

“However, we have heard our customers’ feedback that this charge is unwelcome, especially at this time against a challenging economic backdrop.

“We have considered your feedback and have decided to pay the Stamp Duty on our customers’ behalf for the affected period only.

“This means all individuals and SMEs who were debited for the accumulated Stamp Duty charge for February to April 2020, will be refunded.

“While we still have to remit these funds via the CBN to the Federal Government, we realise that we got it wrong by debiting our customers late, and we are refunding the affected stamp duty charge today to all our affected customers.”

Access Bank said it hopes the decision to refund all those who were debited would go a long way towards making them feel better.

 

 

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Founder/Editor of www.digitaltimesng.com. He is passionate about technology and how it can be used to transform human life, businesses and services.

BANKING

Access Bank Officially Launches Operations In South Africa

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Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank Plc

Access Bank Plc officially launched in South Africa on Monday and took another step in furthering its footprint across the African continent.

Access Bank chief executive Herbert Wigwe said in a statement that the Southern African Development Community represented the strongest economy in Africa, according to a report in IOL.

The Nigeria-listed Access Bank is a leading full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 31 million customers.

It employs 28,000 people in its operations in Nigeria and has subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, with a branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and representative offices in China, Lebanon and India.

Following a merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, Access Bank, with more than 900,000 shareholders, became one of Africa’s largest retail banks by retail customer base.

Wigwe said the opening in South Africa meant Access Bank SA was now firmly seated in one of the principal geographical areas apart from Nigeria, in terms of the size of the economy.

Highlighting Access Bank’s presence in Zambia, he said the opening of the South African subsidiary cemented the bank’s commitment to sub-Saharan Africa as a portal for banking opportunities across the continent.

Access Bank SA chief executive, Bennie van Rooy said Monday was “an exciting event for the South African banking industry”, and the provision of sustainable support to existing customers while appealing to new clients with a business presence across Africa.

“As part of the robust Access Bank family, the South African operations look forward to contributing meaningfully to the achievements and ambitions of the group. In offering a full suite of financial service products to a market we understand in-depth, Access Bank SA is delighted to grow the family footprint.”

Wigwe said the group’s focus was on building relationships, as a partner in businesses and in the communities it served. “It’s vital that our banking solutions give clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals.”

“With its transactional account and online banking, commercial and asset finance, offshore investments and foreign exchange requirements or deposit solutions, Access Bank put the power of choice in clients’ hands,” he said.

“We look forward to the opportunities that present themselves with opening doors for individuals and businesses, and growing possibilities as we go,” said Wigwe.

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BANKING

Bank Wars: Fidelity, Sterling Bank Thrash Union Bank At Tech Experience Centre

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Action in the inaugural edition of Bank Wars, a FIFA 21 Gaming competition for leading Nigerian banks, got underway in Group B on Saturday, May 15, 2021, as Sterling Bank and Fidelity thrashed rivals, Union Bank, to take charge of proceedings in the group.

Bank Wars is sponsored by the foremost Original Equipment Manufacturer, Samsung.

The event, hosted by the Tech Experience Centre, Africa’s cutting-edge technology and lifestyle hub located at Yudala Heights, 13 Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, witnessed excitement on Saturday as participating banks battled hard for precious points.

In the day’s opening match, Sterling Bank thrashed Union Bank 10-7. The game, which kicked off by 1 pm, saw the Sterling Bank representative, Israel Emoitologa, a Software engineer dominate his Union Bank counterpart, Oluwaseyi Ayoade, a Graphics designer, to grab all three points at stake.

Meanwhile, the second game between Fidelity Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) did not hold, as GTB failed to show up, thereby resulting in a walkover, with three points and three goals awarded to Fidelity. The same applied to Sterling Bank who were expected to play GTB in the day’s third game.

Nevertheless, the action returned to the screen for eager fans in the final game of the day, as Fidelity Bank pipped Union Bank 3-2, with Nathan Goodluck, a Media Executive, running the show for the victorious side.

The day’s proceedings ended with Fidelity and Sterling Bank occupying the joint top position in Group B, with six points apiece. However, Sterling Bank has a better goal difference, making them outright group leaders.

Union Bank, which lost its first two matches and GTB, which failed to show up for their encounters, occupy the third and final position respectively.

A few attendees at the event suggested that GTB may have been worried by the potential fire-power of the other teams in the group, thereby opting to beat a tactical retreat in order to avoid heavy defeats.

Earlier, Bank Wars had kicked off on Saturday, May 8 with goals-filled matches featuring the teams in Group A.

Access Bank got the ball rolling on the day with a 7-2 drubbing of First City Monument Bank (FCMB). In the second game, Standard Chartered Bank pipped Zenith Bank 4-3.

Taking to the FIFA 21 pitch in the third match in Group A, Access Bank cemented its place as one of the early favourites with an impressive 11-2 thrashing of Zenith Bank, while FCMB made up for its initial loss to Access Bank by beating Standard Chartered Bank 7-4.

The final round of group matches is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Access Bank which occupies the leadership position in Group A with six points, will be looking to confirm its place in the semi-finals as group leaders, as it takes on Standard Chartered Bank in the day’s first game by 1 pm.

Standard Chartered are third on three points and a win may see them draw level with Access Bank. In the day’s second game, fellow Group A contenders, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) will trade tackles with bottom side, Zenith Bank by 1:30 pm. A win for FCMB, who are second with three points, will also likely take them to the top of the group and on the verge of qualification, depending on how the first match pans out.

Also, hostilities in Group B will come to a head-on Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash between Sterling Bank and Fidelity Bank. Both sides have six points and excitement is bound to hit fever-pitch in what is potentially a winner takes all tie, with the victors guaranteed a place in the semi-finals. The match kicks off at 2 pm.

In the day’s final game, GTB will face off against Union Bank, with both sides looking to preserve their dignity after failing to record any points on the board so far.

Bank Wars is expected to run for five Saturdays until June 5, 2021, with winners of the FIFA 21 Gaming competition expected to smile home with some mouth-watering prizes, courtesy of Samsung.

A Samsung 55-inch TV awaits the first prize winner while the runner-up will go home with a massive Samsung Refrigerator.

Also, the third-best team will claim a Samsung Washing Machine. In addition, there are prizes for individual representatives of the competing teams while the best goal of the competition (to be determined by votes) will fetch the scorer a Samsung 49-inch TV.

 

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BANKING

Bank Wars: Access Bank, Standard Chartered, FCMB Off To Winning Start

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Visitors to the Tech Experience Centre, Africa’s cutting-edge technology and lifestyle hub on Saturday, May 8, 2021, were treated to exciting, high-scoring matches on the opening day of Bank Wars, a FIFA 21 Gaming competition featuring leading Nigerian banks.

Sponsored by Samsung, a foremost Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Banks Wars seeks to crown the best side among the competing banks for the FIFA 21 tourney.

The first day of the event, hosted at the Tech Experience Centre, saw a number of excited spectators converge on the impressive building located at Yudala Heights, 13A Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, to witness the banks in action.

As expected, the competing teams did not disappoint, serving up goals-filled matches to the delight of attendees as hostilities in Group A got underway.

Access Bank got the ball rolling on the day with a 7-2 drubbing of First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

The match, which was played at 1 pm, saw Olabamaji Emmanuel Ojo, an Assistant Banking Officer dominate his opponent, Taiwo Oluwafemi of FCMB’s Brand Management Unit to claim all three points at stake.

In the second game, Standard Chartered Bank pipped Zenith Bank 4-3. Representing the victorious team was Bajeh Israel, a Wealth Management Analyst, while Zenith Bank was represented by Abdulwahab Emmanuel, a Relationship Manager.

Taking to the FIFA 21 pitch in the third match in Group A, Access Bank cemented its place as one of the early favourites with an impressive 11-2 thrashing of Zenith Bank, while FCMB made up for its initial loss to Access Bank by beating Standard Chartered Bank 7-4.

From the results on the first day of the competition, Access Bank occupies the leadership position in Group A with six points, followed by FCMB and Standard Chartered Bank with three points each. Zenith Bank brings up the rear, with no point to its name after the first round of matches.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the quartet of Sterling Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Union Bank and Fidelity Bank in Group B on Saturday, May 15, 2021, which is billed as the second matchday of the competition.

In the day’s opening match, Sterling Bank will trade tackles with Union Bank by 1 pm.

Also, GTB and Fidelity Bank will do battle in the second game by 1:30 pm while Sterling Bank and GTB will contest the third game by 2 pm. The day’s action in Group B will come to a close when Fidelity Bank and Union Bank lock horns. The match is scheduled to kick off by 2:30 pm.

Bank Wars is expected to run for five Saturdays until June 5, 2021, with winners of the FIFA 21 Gaming competition expected to smile home with some mouth-watering prizes, courtesy of Samsung.

A Samsung 55-inch TV awaits the first prize winner while the runner-up will go home with a massive Samsung Refrigerator.

Also, the third-best team will claim a Samsung Washing Machine. In addition, there are prizes for individual representatives of the competing teams while the best goal of the competition (to be determined by votes) will fetch the scorer a Samsung 49-inch TV.

 

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