How to Choose the Right Bank and Avoid Expensive Fees in Nigeria

How to Choose the Right Bank and Avoid Expensive Fees in Nigeria

Banking is an essential part of daily life for individuals and businesses in Nigeria. However, many Nigerians often end up overpaying bank fees due to a lack of research and improper account management. This guide provides tips to help you choose the right bank and avoid unnecessary expenses. By following best practices, you can maximize the benefits of banking while keeping costs low.

Research Charges of Different Banks

The first step is to research the charges of major banks operating in Nigeria. This will give you clarity on true costs. Carefully check details like monthly account maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees, bulk payment charges, penalty charges for late bills, etc. Some banks waive certain fees if you maintain a minimum balance. Comparing rates online can help you identify banks with favorable terms.

Compare Key Features of Various Banking Options

Along with fees, compare other important features of different bank accounts. This includes interest rates, branch/ATM network coverage, digital banking capabilities, referral programs, and customer support quality. Evaluate features based on your requirements to shortlist suitable options. For example, savings accounts suited for investments may have higher interest rates than transactional accounts.

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Consider Your Banking Needs

Different people have varied banking needs depending on factors like occupation, income level, lifestyle, and future goals. Taking time to understand your unique needs helps match them to the right account type. For instance, premium banking services may be worthwhile for businessmen; students can benefit more from free banking packages. Be clear about short-term and long-term requirements to decide your priority features.

Effective Account Management

Proper account management is essential to avoid penalties and maximize benefits. Set up alerts for transactions and balances on digital banking platforms. Maintain adequate balances to avoid charges; use transfer services when needed rather than risky withdrawals. Reconcile statements regularly to flag unauthorized charges promptly. Learn all you can about banking policies to protect yourself from unexpected costs.


Is it better to bank with large foreign banks or local Nigerian banks?

While large foreign banks offer global networks and advanced digital services, local banks provide more personalized attention and a better understanding of the Nigerian market. Consider your specific needs to decide which suits you best.

What types of bank accounts are available in Nigeria?

Common account types include savings accounts, current/checking accounts, fixed deposits, cooperative society accounts, children’s accounts, and foreign currency accounts. Evaluate features of each to pick the right type for your goals.

Can I switch banks if I am not satisfied with my current one?

Yes, you can easily switch banks in Nigeria. Give prior notice and close your existing account by submitting account closure forms available on bank websites or in-branch. Then simply open a new account with another bank of your choice.

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What are some warning signs that a bank may have expensive fees?

Look out for banks with high monthly charges, fees for transactions like ATM withdrawals, penalties for insufficient balances, and compulsory minimum balance requirements. Check customer reviews online for common complaints about particular banks as well.

How can I make the most of digital banking services?

Familiarize yourself with online and mobile banking apps, set up notifications and balance alerts, and use internet banking for bill payments and funds transfers to avoid service charges. Take advantage of remote account opening and instant loans/credits available on some platforms.


With the right research and planning, banking in Nigeria can be affordable and highly convenient. By understanding your unique needs, comparing banks based on relevant criteria, and adopting good account management practices, you can choose the bank best suited to your requirements while avoiding costly penalties. With the numerous options available, every Nigerian can benefit from low-cost banking.


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