1 August 2014 2 Comments

Banks in Nigeria: has GTBank lost it?

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

GTBank, Central Bank of Nigeria monitoring role, Illegal bank deduction in Nigeria, Unprofessional conducts of Bank staff in Nigeria, Banks and digital media use in NigeriaGuaranty Trust Bank is one of the leading  new generation Banks in Nigeria. With efficient and highly professional staff when it started operations. It has pioneered many of the modern changes in Nigeria’s  banking industry in Nigeria. One remembers with nostalgic feeling the leading role it played in the digital media use among the banks in Nigeria. Even with track record of old generation Bank like First Bank, GTBANK  beats everyone to it. It was the first bank to start using technology to  initiate a virtual village meeting with its  then Managing Director who is now late. It also was the first bank to run an effective photo campaign on Flickr among many other firsts. One also remember this same bank was first to break account opening protocols by allowing potentials to open accounts through Facebook, a social media platform.

No wonder then it became the darling of many customers around the Country. Also its spread to other African Countries was really commendable. For some of us in the digital media industry, we have known this and we had been singing that song for long. The power of the brand now belongs to the customers. Especially in this technology age. Customers with access to Internet and who keep monitoring what obtains in the global arena will no longer be patient or put up with inefficiency,  cheating and all forms of sharp malpractices that had obtained in the past.

The communication department of every great and leading organizations today must be filled with thorough professionals who know their jobs and can always have the ears of the management. Without this, brands will begin to suffer local damage that will affect the brand’s impact at the global level. If you are in doubt, many who are digital natives would have seen what happened to Facebook today when many of its accounts holders discovered the platform went down for a few minute across some regions in the world. Twitter was filled with complaints and many agreed twitter gained new accounts.

In a recent chat with a colleague on some of the challenges being faced by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), he was of the opinion the level of expansion of the bank may be accounting for some of the inefficiencies that are now coming to the forefront.  Even though I strongly disagreed with him, some of the recent events point to the fact that GTBank needs to come up with better strategy if it must continue to enjoy the loyalty of its teaming customers. We should never forget when one brand is misbehaving; another is warming up to take over. We must sympathies with GTBANK though, technology here has its teething challenge.

Infrastructures level are still in short supply to power some of the new initiatives our banks are pushing. Such inefficiency is also noted in the Telecommunication giants’ services across the nation.
Coming to the point, Nigeria twitter environment witnessed a demonstration of anger against this beloved Bank in the past few hours today. The backlash is still on and we need to commend the digital team of the bank for trying it’s best. But what is obvious is that customers will no longer bear with any form of inefficiency, crooked professional services. It is obvious to all, that illegal deductions did not just start today. The difference is that people are now paying keen attention to what happens to their money. No thank to this harsh economy which is biting hard on almost everyone.

Though such deductions used to be very minute, say 2 Kobo or 2 Naira, customers now want to know why. A casual observation by one of the bank’s customers (@rosanwo) and complaint on twitter about a little illegal deduction from his account sparked off the row. The negative mentions alone will take the banks few hours and days to clear. Many other affected customers who probably have been enduring such came out strong on the bank.

It was as if they have been looking for who will bell the cat kind of situation.  This should serve as a lesson to other banks as none is spared from this sharp financial practices. Central Bank of Nigeria needs to strengthen its monitoring and regulatory tentacle as this has been allowed to go on for long. Many banks’ customers just kept quiet because they felt the charges are minute. But one is shocked today when someone calculated on twitter what that little charges turned out to be at the end of every month for those banks that have over two Million account holders with them.
It is the turn of GTBANK today, but who knows whose next it is tomorrow. One just pity some of the bank’s without strong digital team, Most of whom are filled with non-professionals or just learning the rope in the ocean of the social platforms.  There is no need to mention names here but we are aware and keep monitoring.

We also learnt one of the old generations has no budget for digital media this year as it is believed to be engaged in funding operational procedures. We cannot but laugh at such ideology. Many are not even retraining this vital arm of their communication units. We wish them well in their decisions also but what we know is that one day will be one day and their turn will come. How they handle such season will go a long way on what becomes the brand’s they have been building for ages. A word is enough for the wise.


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