The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned in strong terms, Union Bank’s advertised move to offer legal services to its customers. The statement which was signed by the National Secretary of the Association warns the general public to desist from transacting any legal service with banks as same violates the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners.
“It has come to the notice of the Nigerian Bar Association that the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has solicited to render Legal Advisory Services, Alternative Dispute Resolution and other law-related services (Legal Services) to members of the Public.”
“We hereby state that Union Bank of Nigeria Plc or any other Bank or other financial corporation is not a body licensed to render such legal services and cannot hold itself out as a firm of Legal Practitioners or in partnership with a firm of Legal Practitioners to render the said Legal Services. Rule 5(5) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners’ which states that “It shall be unlawful to carry out legal practice as a corporation”. This expressly precludes any corporation from engaging in the practice of the law, Union Bank Plc inclusive.”
“Members of the Public are hereby advised not to patronize Union Bank Plc for the said services and to disregard this publication in its entity.”
“We wish to also state that NBA is heads-on in addressing the issues raised by the unfortunate advertorial.”
It would be recalled that Union Bank in a widely circulated advertorial announced to the general public its intention to offer legal services to its customer with a law firm.