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Polaris Bank In Illegal Deductions Mess On Customers’ Domiciliary Accounts

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…Businesswomen Drag Bank To Court, Demand N10million Damages

Three businesswomen and customers of Polaris Bank have dragged the bank before a Surulere Magistrate Court in Lagos over alleged unjustifiable freezing of their domiciliary and Naira accounts with the bank and subsequent illegal deductions on the said accounts amounting to about $30,769 (USD).

The applicants – Mrs. Adebomi Orogun, Mrs. Kehinde Banjo, and Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ode, in an originating application brought pursuant to Order 1 Rule 2 of the Magistrates’ Courts Civil Procedure Rules of Lagos State (2009), accused the bank of freezing their USD (US Dollar), Euro and Naira accounts with the bank without a valid court order.

They said the bank proceeded to make unauthorized deductions from their accounts without any justification whatsoever as there was no time they were accused of engaging in fraudulent activities with the said accounts.

In her affidavit in support of the application, the first applicant (Orogun) who maintained USD, Euro and Naira accounts with Polaris Bank, said the bank usually deducts the requisite commission after every transaction she made.

According to her, “I regularly transact on my Euro account (3049994742) with the bank. I recently wanted to transfer money with my Euro account, only to discover that I no longer have access to make any transaction.

“I also discovered that there was no available balance left in my USD account. I was confused and had to make an inquiry with the bank to know the reason why I no longer have access to my Euro account and why my USD account was cleared out. However, I was informed by the Bank that they had not been deducting the proper commission per transaction on my account which they only commence later and ultimately led to my USD account being cleared out.

“This action carried out by the Bank was done entirely without recourse to me, who believed that all due commissions had been deducted and I had enough balance to plan my life with. On the 4th of March, 2022, I was shocked to discover that all my accounts (USD, EURO and Naira) with the respondent (Polaris Bank) had been frozen and a post no debit order was placed on them.”

Orogun said she was neither informed nor given a satisfactory reason for the cruel act by the respondent, adding: “I did not engage in any fraudulent activity nor have I been officially accused of same by the bank. Hence, the freezing and placing of a post no debit on my accounts was totally unnecessary.”

She said the actions of the respondent greatly disrupted her business activities and also subjected her to financial cruelty with no hope as to when her accounts would be unfrozen.

“The actions of the respondent have also caused financial distress due to my inability to complete pending transactions,” she averred.

The two other applicants deposed to similar facts in their affidavit in support of the application, narrating to the court how the alleged cruel act of the bank had caused them great discomfort and economic setback.

They said they had written to the bank to unfreeze their accounts and return the illegal deductions made, all to no avail, a development that necessitated the filing of the matter before the court.

The applicants are, therefore, asking the court to give an order directing the bank to revert their accounts back to the status quo as of 17th January 2022.

They are also asking for an order mandating Polaris Bank to pay them N10million as damages for the financial hardship caused to them by the actions of the bank.

When the matter came up before the Surulere Magistrate Court on Wednesday, the court said there was no proof that the respondent had been served.

The matter was thereafter adjourned till June 6, 2022.

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Business

DiamondXtra Promo: Access Bank To Reward Customers In South-South, South-East With Millions

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Nigeria’s Leading retail financial institution, Access Bank will be rewarding its customers in the South-South and South-East region with millions of naira and other attractive consolation prizes in the DiamondXtra regional draw.

The Live draws which have been scheduled to hold on June 29, 2022, in Owerri, Imo State, will feature mouthwatering cash prizes of N1million, Business grant worth N1million, Rent for a year worth N1million, Educational grant of N500,000, and the star prize, Salary4life where a lucky customer will earn N100,000 every month for 20 years.

Speaking to newsmen at the Bank’s head office in Lagos, Adaeze Ume, Group Head, Consumer Banking, explained that the motivation behind the regional draws in the new season of the reward scheme is the need to transform the lives of More Nigerians across the country.

“To deliver on our promise to continually reward our customers for their loyalty and continued savings with our bank, we have decided to take the DiamondXtra reward scheme draws even closer to them”, she said.

“We intend to reward 38 lucky customers in the South-South, South- East region with juicy cash and consolation prizes in the LIVE draw taking place on the 29th of June 2022 in Owerri, Imo State.

“By executing LIVE draws in the regional hubs across the country we believe this will aid consumer participation, drive credibility of this 14 year old reward scheme and boost our relationship with our dynamic and loyal retail customer base in the various LGAs and regions across the nation.

“We continue to evolve and reflect on the various offers within the DiamondXtra reward programme, and engage our customers on what they would prefer to have as a reward.

“So this year, we introduced a new reward element to commemorate the launch of season 14 (tagged READY FOR MORE); in line with the evolving economic climate that has seen more businesses commence trading and transactions online, we now offer digital skills training to 14,000 lucky customers as one of our prizes.

“This skill will empower them and enable them to boost their businesses and operations as entrepreneurs leveraging the Digital Marketing platforms. This is our own little way to help build employers of labour instead of employees of labour.

“To join the winning train or to stand a chance to win in the forthcoming South South, South-East regional draw, simply fund your DiamondXtra account with a minimum of N5,000 or more for an opportunity to win millions and other attractive prizes.

“Those who do not have a DiamondXtra account can simply open an account by dialling *901*5# from their phones and fund it with a minimum of N5,000 or more to stand a chance to become a winner”, Ume concluded.

DiamondXtra is an interest yielding hybrid account which allows deposit of both cash and third-party cheques. Hybrid means a combination of both savings and current account features. The DiamondXtra reward scheme was launched in 2008 and has been running till date.

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UBA Redeems $500m 5-Year Eurobond

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The United Bank for Africa (UBA) on Wednesday, redeemed its debut $500 million 5-year Eurobond notes with the maturity date of June 8, 2022.


The bank in a statement stated: “ Issued in 2017, the five-year bond was offered at a coupon rate of 7.75%, and raised to support the Bank’s business in key sectors of the economy.


As part of UBA’s liability management strategies, In November 2021, the bank repurchased $310.9 million of the notes through a cash tender offer. Upon maturity of the Eurobond, the outstanding portion of $189.1 million and the coupon of $7.3 million were redeemed by the bank.”


“The development is a testament to UBA’s robust and prudent liquidity management strategies, coupled with a very strong and diversified asset and liability management process. This, in spite of macroeconomic headwinds underpinned by FX illiquidity, double-digit inflation and currency devaluation,” said Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO of UBA.


“Our huge customer base, diversified geographical spread and uncommon multiple decades of proven track record, continue to spotlight UBA as the preferred destination for investors, individuals and businesses alike,” Uzoka continued.


With presence in 20 African countries, including Nigeria, as well established operations in France, the United Kingdom (UK) and the only sub-Saharan African bank with a deposit-taking licence in the United States of America (USA), UBA is a renowned financial institution providing banking and financial services to over 33 million customers across the globe.

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Access Bank To Acquire Kenya’s Sidian Bank For N15bn

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Access Bank Plc has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire 83.4 per cent equity stake held by Centum Investment Plc, a Kenyan-based investment company, in Sidian Bank Ltd, for the sum of about N15 billion ($37 million).


Access Bank disclosed the acquisition in a statement sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, NGX on Wednesday noting that the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in Kenya and Nigeria. Access Bank said the purchase consideration includes the price to “book multiple of 1.1 times” based on the audited March 31, 2022 shareholders’ equity of Sidian.


Commenting on the transaction, Herbert Wigwe, the group chief executive, Access Corporation said: “This growth transaction being implemented in Kenya represents the relentless focus and execution of our strategic objectives within our banking subsidiary even as we grow the other businesses within Access Corporation’s core segments.”


“The acquisition of Sidian is a significant step-up in scale and potential for Access Bank in Kenya which represents the largest market and trade corridor in East Africa.


“The significant increase in scale and customer base presents us with enormous opportunities to support growth in the various ecosystems we are building in our trade and payment business.”


On his part, Roosevelt Ogbonna, chief executive officer, Access Bank, said the transaction builds on their earlier acquisition of the former Transnational Bank Plc (now Access Bank Kenya) “and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Kenya, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus for geographic earnings growth and diversification.”

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