Banks set new ATM withdrawal limits for customers


Nigerian commercial banks have instituted withdrawal limits on their automated teller machines (ATMs), with variations observed across different banks, according to an investigation by TheCable.

This development traces back to the cash scarcity episodes experienced in parts of Nigeria in the latter half of the previous year.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) attributed the scarcity, which peaked around November 2, 2023, to substantial withdrawals by banks and panic-driven customer activities at ATMs.

Despite the CBN’s assurance of having adequate currency notes to facilitate economic transactions, the issue of limited cash flow persisted.

By December 13, the apex bank pointed to hoarding as a significant factor, noting that much of the currency distributed to banks ended up being retained by individuals rather than recirculating in the economy.

In an effort to manage the cash flow, the CBN had previously set withdrawal limits in December 2022, capping daily ATM withdrawals at N20,000 and weekly at N100,000.

However, following public backlash, these limits were revised to N500,000 weekly for individuals and N5,000,000 for corporate entities, effective January 9, 2023.

Current observations in Lagos indicate that banks have reinstated withdrawal restrictions on ATMs, aligning with ongoing efforts to stabilize cash distribution and promote cashless transactions.

Furthermore, TheCable’s investigation revealed that these imposed limits affect customers even when they attempt withdrawals from ATMs of banks other than their own, indicating a broader strategy to control cash movement and address the challenges of currency availability in the market.

At three Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) branches located in Ogba, Egbeda, and Fagba in Lagos state, the company’s account holders are only allowed to withdraw N20,000 per day at the ATM, while it dispenses a maximum of N5,000 to non-customers daily.

However, another GTBank in Egbeda has a daily cap of N50,000 for customers and N20,000 for non-customers.

Also, Polaris Bank branches at Festac and Ikeja have N50,000 ATM withdrawal limit per day for the lender’s account holders — but non-customers can only withdraw N20,000 per day.

The limit is different for account holders of United Bank for Africa (UBA), as ATMs at the lender’s branches at Fagba and Ogba only dispense N20,000 and N60,000 to N100,000, respectively, whereas non-customers have a cap of N5,000 and N40,000 to N60,000, respectively.

At Union Bank branches in Ikeja, Ilupeju, and Berger, account holders can withdraw N20,000, N60,000 to N70,000, and N70,000 per day, respectively.

However, non-customers have a limit of N20,000 daily at Union Bank branches in Ikeja and Ilupeju, while they can withdraw up to N40,000 at the Berger office.

For Ecobank account holders, the maximum ATM withdrawal at its branches in Ogba and Berger is N400,000 and N40,000 per day, respectively, while non-customers can withdraw N20,000 daily.

Keystone Bank branches at Ilupeju, Ogba, and Allen set a limit of N40,000, N50,000, and N200,000 per day for account holders, respectively; while the ATM dispenses N20,000, N30,000, and N100,000, (respectively) to non-customers.

The withdrawal limit for Zenith Bank account holders is N100,000 per day at ATMs located at the company’s branches in Aguda and Festac, but non-customers can only withdraw N30,000 and N50,000, respectively.

At its branches in Allen and Akowonjo, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has an ATM withdrawal cap of N40,000 for account holders, while N20,000 is dispensed to non-customers per day.

Also, Sterling Bank branches at Ilupeju and Allen have a limit of N50,000 for account holders, but the maximum non-customers can withdraw are N25,000 and N50,000, respectively.

Access Bank also has a limit on ATM withdrawals, as the company’s branches in Allen and Ogba offer N40,000 per day to account holders, but dispense N20,000 to N25,000 to non-customers.

Checks at Fidelity Bank’s branches in Ilupeju and Aguda showed account holders can withdraw a maximum of N40,000 — but for non-customers at the Ilupeju office, the amount depends on the bank they are using, while for the Aguda branch, non-customers can withdraw N20,000 or until they can no longer take out funds from the ATM.

First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) also limited account holders’ ATM withdrawals to N40,000 daily, according to findings at its branches in Allen and Berger.

Although non-customers can withdraw N20,000 at FBN’s Allen office, withdrawal at the Berger branch depends on the bank used by non-customers.

For Globus Bank account holders, ATMs at the company’s branches in Ilupeju and Allen have a limit of N150,000 per day, however, non-customers withdrawal limit also depends on their banks.

Providus Bank branches in Allen and Adeola Odeku offer account holders a maximum of N100,000 and N150,000 (respectively) per day, with the ATMs dispensing N20,000 to non-customers daily.

However, account holders of Premium Trust Bank can withdraw N40,000 daily at the company’s ATMs in Allen and Adeola Hopewell branches but non-customers are only able to withdraw N10,000 and N40,000 to N50,000 per day, respectively.

At Allen and Mowe (Ogun state), ATMs in Unity Bank branches dispense N40,000 per day to account holders and non-customers.

But at Parallex Bank in Adeola Hopewell, the ATM withdrawal limit for account holders is N100,000, while that of non-customers depends on their banks.

Heritage Bank in Ilupeju has a cap of N150,000-N200,000 per day for account holders, but non-customers cannot withdraw more than N40,000 daily.

Also, findings at Suntrust Bank, located in Sanusi Fafunwa, showed account holders are limited to N20,000 a day and non-customers can withdraw N20,000-N30,000 daily.

At Titan Trust Bank in Egbeda, both account holders and non-customers are unable to withdraw more than N20,000 per day.

It is different at Stanbic IBTC in Computer Village and Ogba, where ATM withdrawal for account holders is capped at N80,000 to N100,000 daily.

However, non-customers can withdraw N40,000 daily at the Computer Village branch, while they can withdraw until they are unable to at the Ogba office.

TheCable also learnt that ATMs at Wema Bank branches in Oba Akran and Ojodu are dispensing N40,000 to account holders daily, but non-customers limit depends on their banks.