The Institute

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) is the umbrella professional body for bankers in Nigeria.

Ethics and Professionalism


Following the growing concerns about unethical and unprofessional practices in the Nigerian banking and finance industry, which are capable of eroding public confidence in the industry, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) articulated the urgent need for operators to take steps to combat the emerging menace. In line with the provisions of the applicable laws, the Governor sought the co-operation of the banks through the Bankers’ Committee.

The Bankers' Committee

The Bankers’ Committee, in its determination to sanitize the practice of banking and finance in Nigeria and instill discipline in the profession, established the Subcommittee on Ethics & Professionalism on 19th December, 2000. The mandate of the Subcommittee was to:

  • Identify practices and conducts considered unethical in the industry

  • Develop an acceptable code of ethics and professionalism, and put in place effective machinery for enforcing compliance.

The Subcommittee, made up of 15 members, began its work of soliciting memoranda from all the banks and financial institutions in Nigeria, in addition to a Discussion Paper from Chief (Dr.) J. O. Sanusi, FCIB, the then Governor of CBN. It thereafter synthesized the inputs and following several working sessions, arrived at this Code. The Code contains a list of acts, conducts, commissions and omissions classified as unethical and unprofessional as well as the framework for addressing these in the business of banking and finance in Nigeria. Thus, the Code also provides the procedure for dealing with complaints and the sanctions for infractions of its provisions.

Objectives of the Code of Ethics

The overall objectives of the Code of Ethics & Professionalism in the Banking and Finance Industry are to ensure the highest level of adherence to good banking practice and a strong commitment to high ethical standards in the banker-customer relationship. The aim of the Code is also to enable financial institutions, regulatory bodies, employees of banks and members of the Institute to know in clear terms what acts, conducts, commissions and omissions and practices are considered unethical and unprofessional and the appropriate sanctions that would apply for non-compliance with the Code. It is expected that this Code would bring about discipline and professionalism in the banking and finance industry.

The Subcommittee on Ethics and Professionlism

Objectives of the Subcommittee

  • To ensure the highest level of adherence to sound and generally accepted banking practice.

  • To ensure a strong commitment to good banking practice.

  • To uphold the integrity of the banking profession in order to instill public confidence in the banking system.

Duties of Subcommittee

  • To develop standard and codes for ethical and professional banking practice.

  • To consider complaints from bank customers, the general public and from within the banking system.

  • To consider complaints by banks against the regulatory authorities or other banks and vice versa.

  • To consider complaints from bank staff against their employers or vice versa.

  • To cause enforcement of decisions approved by the Bankers’ Committee.

Membership of the Subcommittee

The membership is made up of CBN, NDIC, CIBN, FITC and 11 banks

Secretariat of the Subcommittee

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Ethics & Professionalism Division performs the Secretariat functions of the Subcommittee. The Registrar/Chief Executive is the Secretary, Subcommittee on Ethics & Professionalism.

Conditions for Handling Cases
  • Payment of a non-refundable deposit of N50,000.00 or 5% of claim, whichever is lower.

  • Cases must not be more than six (6) years old.

  • Cases must not be before the Court.

  • Cases must not have been adjudicated upon by a court of competent jurisdiction, CBN or any other Statutory Regulatory Institution.

  • Decision of the Subcommittee confirmed by the Bankers’ Committee shall be final.

Framework/Procedure for Handling Reported Cases

The Subcommittee shall apply the following procedures for handling cases brought before it:

  • The complaint shall:

    1. contain the name and address of the complainant and the bank; and
    2. state briefly and clearly the complaint(s).

  • Where the complainant uses the services of a Consultant, a letter of authority must be obtained.

  • All complaints/reports should be submitted to the Secretariat of the Subcommittee i.e. CIBN, in duplicate.

  • Such complaints are to be acknowledged immediately. The letter of acknowledgement should include a clause prohibiting all parties to any issue before the Subcommittee from commenting on the matter in the mass media pending the determination of the case or going to Court.

  • The Secretariat shall request for response from the defendant or other parties mentioned in the petition before it.