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Stanbic bank refunds millions it had fleeced from customer

OUR REPORTER

After months of fighting for what rightly belongs to him, a no-nonsense Ugandan toiling in Canada has retrieved his sh. 4.8 million from the jaws of a predatory commercial bank.

Using a ridiculous exchange rate that fell below the conventional rate of the time by over sh. 300 on each Canadian dollar, Stanbic bank had deducted these millions from CAD 14,980 that Yunus Lubega sent through the financial institution to a recipient in Kampala.

Whereas other local and international financial institutions, including the Bank of Uganda, offered on June 26 around sh. 2390.51 for every Canadian dollar, Stanbic decided to pay Mr. Lubega’s addressee a paltry sh. 2075 for the same on the same day. The bank, in other wards, only released sh. 31,083,500 instead of sh. 35,809,839, and kept the change – sh. 4,726,339 – to itself.

Lubega’s request for redress landed on deaf ears, with Uganda’s largest commercial bank arguing that it “determines its rates depending on the market conditions and business considerations.”

This unrepentant response prompted the victim to appeal to Stanbic’s parent, Standard Bank Group of South Africa. The appeal, coupled with the embarrassment that the multinational suffered when this news website publicised the scam, forced the villain to pay back the money last week.

“After a 3-month struggle, they finally returned the entire amount of UGX4.8m,” Lubega said Wednesday in an email. “It has been quite a rough ride, brother!”

Mr. Lubega is just one in countless Ugandans whose hard-earned money is stolen day by day by such exploitative banks. A few like him fight on until they reclaim their shillings. But the voiceless majority suffers silently and moves on.