Access Bank pleads as #EndSARS protesters demand boycott

Amid an online campaign for customers to boycott Access Bank Plc, the management of the bank has sympathised with #EndSARS protesters for freezing their accounts.

Access Bank had frozen the accounts of at least eight persons involved in the #EndSARS campaign based on the orders of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The bank’s decision to freeze the accounts was done nearly two weeks before CBN obtained a court order to do so.

The move subsequently put the bank in a bad light with hundreds of social media influencers calling on Nigerians to boycott the bank which is Nigeria’s biggest lender.

They argued that Access Bank ought to have been more thorough like Stanbic IBTC, whose founder, Atedo Peterside, had openly refused to freeze the account of any person without a valid court order.

However, Access Bank explained in a statement on Friday that as a financial institution, it was bound by the regulations of the CBN.

It said it was looking forward to unfreezing the accounts.

The statement read in part, “We want to express our sympathy for the inconvenience that eight of our customers are going through due to the restrictions on their accounts as mandated by a federal court order. We are eager for this to be resolved as soon as possible

“It is common knowledge that we and the entire banking industry are regulated entities and therefore operate under the authority of our regulators and law enforcement agencies. As such we are compelled to comply with regulatory directives.

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“While acknowledging the concern of all well-meaning parties, we urge that enquiries and views be channeled to the relevant regulatory and judicial agencies where the matter is receiving attention.

“It is therefore surprising that some individuals still choose to target Access Bank in a negative manner despite not being the source of the action.”

Access Bank said it had always been at the forefront of innovative efforts in support of the development of Nigeria.

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