Our hands are tied over restriction of accounts of #EndSARS promoters ― Access Bank

•Assures on remedy

The management of the Access Bank has sympathised with eight of its customers whose accounts were placed on restrictions on the orders of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The affected customers along with others in several banks were alleged masterminds of the movement for the reform of the Nigeria Police Force and proscription of the dreaded Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) tagged #EndSARS Protests.

The management of the Access Bank in a statement said it was helpless as it was mandatory that it refer to the instruction of the nation apex bank.

It said: “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.”

While it expressed apprehension that it was being stigmatised by the public for complying with the CBN directive, the Access Bank management appealed to victims of the action of the banks’ regulators and orders of the Court, and it advised its aggrieved customers to seek judicial redress. It equally expressed the hope that the action of the apex bank would soon be reviewed.

The statement further read in part: “While acknowledging the concern of all well-meaning parties, we urge that enquiries and views be channelled 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.

“The Bank has always been at the forefront of innovative efforts in support of the development of our country. We embrace this role as we are also the largest employer of labour – a sizable number of which are youth.

“Access Bank has always led the way with regard to support for young Nigerians in terms of capacity building and development of SMEs. Recall that Access Bank launched an initiative to boost the creative industry with loan facilities aimed at capacity building and employment for individuals and businesses in movie production and distribution, fashion, IT and music. Our commitment also extends to the support of small business owners through initiatives that provide access to finance for growth and expansion.

“We continue to be concerned by the inconvenience that our affected customers are experiencing. We stand ready to play our part to remedy the situation and have them using their accounts as quickly as possible.”

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