Access Bank Plc has said it will pay three months stamp duty for its customers, stressing that it planned to refund debited individuals beginning from Sunday.
Access Bank last week said it recently discovered a mistake in its operations records, whereby stamp duty charges on applicable transactions were not passed on to customers. The omissions occurred between February 1st, 2020, and April 30th, 2020.
The Tier-1 bank said it is deeply apologetic for this error, maintaining that all concerned customers are to prepare to pay off the accrued charges.
Following public outcry, the lender in a statement posted on social media platforms on Sunday said, “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 charge 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 individual and SMEs who were debited for the accumulated Stamp Duty charge for February and 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 stamped duty charge today to all affected customers.
“Please send us a mail through email@example.com if you have any further enquiries regarding the stamp Duty charge.”
The lender explained further that,”We hope this gesture goes some way to make this better and we would like to thank all our customers who reached out to us to share their views.”
The N50 stamp duty charge was reviewed in the federal government’s latest finance bill which took effect earlier 2020.
The revision is such that instead of customers would be required to pay the N50 stamp duty only if their deposits or transfers exceed N10,000. This is against an earlier (controversial) practice of imposing a stamp duty of N50 for every deposit/transfer exceeding only N1,000.