See step-by-step process to recover money that disappeared from your bank account

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A Nigerian news reader has lamented how a huge sum of money suddenly disappeared from his account without a trace.

Anonymous asked: “Last week, I woke up to N1.6 million missing from my account. I have complained to my bank and they seem to have no clue where the money went or how it got withdrawn or transferred. What can I do?”

Chuka Nweze is a seasoned financial analyst and former banker with over a decade of experience in financial consulting.

As a licensed stockbroker, he provides paid and complimentary financial literacy services. Numerous customers visit their banks to report such issues daily, expecting swift resolution and the return of their funds. However, resolving these matters is often more complex than pressing a few keys on a computer.

As you have stated in this email, you have already notified your bank, and they have neither been able to give you a reasonable explanation nor provide your money. It’s important to recognise that banks might not always be at fault for these issues.
In some cases, customers may have inadvertently compromised their own security by falling victim to scammers, sharing sensitive information, or losing their ATM cards or phones that provide direct access to their bank accounts.

Whatever the circumstances surrounding how your account was accessed, it is only fair to pursue all possible avenues to recover your money, and here are a few steps I would suggest.

Formalize your complaint
Formalise your complaint by documenting a correspondence to the bank, highlighting details like your account number, missing amount, and the dates of the suspicious transactions. Ensure you get a complaint reference number.

You can usually do this through your bank’s official website, customer service hotline, or by visiting a branch. Keep following up with your bank regularly. Note down the names of the bank representatives you speak with and the details of your conversations.

Raise alarm on social media
Sometimes, public complaints on social media platforms can prompt a quicker response from the bank. All you have to do is tag your bank’s official handles and describe your issue concisely and respectfully. Because banks don’t like to be embarrassed by these types of complaints, they would be quick to respond to you and hopefully resolve the issue.

Report to the Nigeria Police Force
While some customers are fortunate enough to resolve their complaints within a week or two, others are less lucky. Their issues may be beyond the bank’s control and necessitate additional investigation. If you suspect fraud or criminal activity, report the matter to the Nigeria Police Force and obtain a police report, as it might be required for further investigations.

Report to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
If your bank fails to resolve your complaint within two weeks to 30 days, you must escalate the matter to the CBN’s Consumer Protection Department.
The CPD attends to all financial-related complaints against financial institutions, including commercial banks, microfinance banks, discount houses, and primary mortgage institutions.

You can lodge a complaint with the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN via email at or by visiting their complaints portal.
The CPD can be contacted via the following channels:
Phone call: +234 7002255226
Customers can lodge a complaint directly on the CBN website via this link.
Following these steps will help you take a structured approach to recover your missing funds. Keep detailed records of all communications and actions taken, as they will be helpful in resolving the matter.

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Naijinfo Online

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