They say the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. It’s common to hear people talk about human rights but have you ever thought of your right as a bank customer? As uncommon as it may sound, you have certain rights and duties guaranteed by law, regulation and conventions.
1. The Right to be informed
As a bank customer, you have a right to disclosure of information from your bank on goods and services the bank offers. The information provided must be complete, relevant and truthful. Your bank must explain to your understanding all contractual terms and charges prior to the consummation of any agreement or contract. This right enables customers to have relevant information in order to make rational choices. It amounts to a breach of your right if your bank fails to provide this information or deliberately misleads you in any way
2. The Right to choose
You have a right to select from the range of products and services made available by your bank at competitive prices. This means that as a customer, you can, at all times, decide on the product or service to accept/purchase and the ones to decline. It is wrong for a bank to restrict your choices or compel you to accept/purchase products or services that are ill-suited for your needs. Where you are not satisfied with your bank’s service delivery on any product or service, you have the right to end the contract or even the banking relationship provided all outstanding commitments are settled by the customer.
3. The Right to safety
This right requires a bank to guarantee all its customers a secure and conducive banking environment devoid of threats to their safety and health. You have the right to be reasonably protected from accidents while on the premises of your bank. You also have the right to be protected from the negative effects of pollution of any kind whether arising from your bank’s operations or from other sources. It is necessary to stress that your bank is obligated to adhere strictly to applicable safety laws and directives to ensure that your safety and well being are adequately guaranteed while you are on the premises of your bank.
4. The Right to privacy and confidentiality
As a bank customer, you have the right to freedom from disclosure of your account details by the bank as well as intrusion into your account by third party. In other words, your bank must not divulge your account information to a third party; the bank must also protect your information from unauthorized access by a third party. There are, however, exceptions to this right as follows:
1. Where the bank is required by law to make disclosure; and
2. Where the customer consents to the disclosure.
These are certainly not the only rights you have as a bank customer. There are a few others which I’ll share with you some other time. For now, share this information with others and exercise your right!