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Saturday, 10 November 2012 00:00
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Operators warn Nigerians to beware of fake MFBs

The Managing Director, Olive Microfinance Bank, Mr. Eniola Agbesoyin, has urged Nigerians to beware of fake and unregistered microfinance banks that are operating in the microfinance market.

Agbesoyin said this in his office yesterday during a chat with Nigerian Compass that Nigerians have been duped several millions of naira through fake MFBs.

He said, “These banks operate like wonder banks, who will ask people to safe certain amount and get 500 to 900 per cent of the amount saved within some months. The victims, thinking this is an avenue to accrue more income, save their money with them but to their surprise, when they came to claim the promised money, they either met the place under lock and key or the bank may have relocated”.

He also stressed that the dubious act is affecting the image of microfinance institutions nationwide negatively. “Though the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) swung into action and arrested some of them then. It however seems they are gradually coming back to the market again, this time, pretending as if they are registered microfinance firms”, he added.

To this end, Agbesoyin said that there are some institutions which claimed to be registered, but were rendering services outside the rules.

Some of them, he said, are giving loans at low interest rates to lure customers into their banks.

There are institutions that claim to be microfinance banks offering outrageous interest rates and packages that are not normal, he said.

According to him, “Somebody is asking you of N100, 000 deposit to get one million naira in return, bringing N200, 000 to get five million naira in two weeks. I think the public should know that these are quacks.”

In the same vein, Mr. Oladipupo Ajayi, financial secretary, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Lagos state chapter said that the unregistered microfinance institutions are coming back into the market after CBN descended on them three years ago. He said most of them are in the remote part of Lagos State, promising people unrealistic interest rates.

He said the association has informed its members to report any unregistered MFB within their environment to NAMBLAG, promising that such name will be forwarded to CBN for appropriate sanctions.

“They are tarnishing the image of the industry. They promise unrealistic interest rate, and at the end of the day, they will relocate and their customers will lose several millions of naira in the process. We are appealing to Nigerians to be careful of the type of institutions they are putting in their money,” he said.