Metro

Access Bank’s ‘Wrongful N307,259 Debit’ Ruins Clearing Agent’s Business

Jude Agbokhaode, a Lagos state-based clearing agent, has complained about Access Bank’s decision to continue to hold on to a sum of N307,259 after it was wrongfully debited from his account by the bank’s system.

Agbokhaode told FIJ that the deducted sum was a capital given to him by an importer he once worked with. He also said the erroneous debit prompted the importer to eventually sever business ties with him.

“After returning to Lagos from my father’s burial on December 27, 2019, I needed to make an urgent transaction because of a vessel that had arrived the port three days earlier,” Agbokhaode said.

“The transaction was so urgent I had to process it online for the APMT terminal charge. I was debited immediately I made the payment.

“Then a picture came up noting that the transaction was “processing”. Normally, the transactions like that only take a few minutes before becoming successful. But, after two hours, the transaction was still not successful. After this, I went to APMT office and they told me that they had not seen the money.”

Agbokhaode said he had to quickly call his importer to send another amount so that their shipment could be cleared while he waited for the reversal of the initial N307,259 payment he made.

“Access Bank then told me that it could take about six working days to return the money. On January 6, 2020, they reversed the funds,” said Agbokhaode.

“I thought that was all until I got another debit alert for the same amount on March 9, 2020. I immediately sent a message to my bank on the issue because the whole country was on COVID-19 lockdown then.”

Agbokhaode said that Access Bank later directed him to APMT, the initial transaction beneficiary. He said that the bank claimed that the transaction was successful.

On its part, APMT told Agbokhaode to wait for a few months before it could review its account statement.

“Every transaction was made online; I could not go to the APMT in person. So, I had to wait. APMT finally invited me over in August to take a look at their statement of account. I provided my invoice number and they searched between December 2019 and April 2020 but did not see the money. The transaction was never successful,” Agbokhaode said.

The agent said he further visited an Access Bank branch in Tincan, Apapa, and also sent messages to the financial institution on social media but all he got were promises.

“They continued to tell me that they would escalate the matter,” he said.

“The moment they hear my name and the N307,259, their officials hang up on me whenever I call them these days. The social media channels of Access Bank have stopped responding too,” Agbokhaode told FIJ.

“I want my money back. The chargeback process has been delayed since March 2020. They have ruined my business.”

When FIJ contacted Access Bank via email for comments on the matter, Mercy Olaleye, one of its officials, issued the following response:

“In reference to your mail, kindly provide the account details of the customer and official letter of complaint from the solicitor to enable me further. I look forward to assisting you with this complaint.”

 

FIJ

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