27 February 2012 2 Comments

Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and unsavoury Customer Service

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

Standard Chartered Bank and bad customer serviceStandard Chartered Bank is an international bank which prides itself as  Priority banking. Customer is said to be the centre figure no wonder its bye line is ‘Here For Good’. Standard Chartered Bank has a name and one wonders why living to its name is becoming an issue.

For those who had been a long standing community member of this platform, they would have noticed this trend- we do not discuss brand. We had consistently delivered on issues that can aid brand success. It is our tradition not to focus on the negatives hence we had consistently overlooked some of the vices associated with brands around here. The trouble with consistent silence is that we allow evil to prevail over justice. What customer experience in the hands of service provider here is really standard. I must say this experience is not peculiar to Standard Chartered Bank as I had witnessed this same experience in First City Monument Bank Plc.

Bank needs to realize some individuals open certain account for emergencies only. Therefore such account do not enjoy much activities like the daily expenses account. I personally opened an account at one of the branches of Standard Chartered Bank in Lagos for this reason. The main  reason why I opened this was the fact that  it is the only Bank which allowed the use of Visa Card then. I filled the necessary forms and left. For a long while I did not go to the branch for update as I believed the bank has my mobile and Email, if there is any need.

The first time I went to make withdrawals, it was easy with no hassle. As usual I left the account for a while. Within this time few deposits had been made by some individuals and organizations I had consulted for. It was to my utmost disappointment to get to the bank the second time and I was told I could not make withdraws because one of the references had not been confirmed. On this particular day, I was in need of cash urgently and that account was the last hope. All appealed for them to see reason failed. Eventually I picked up another reference form and rushed to see if I could get any of my friends who is in-house customer as that was the only saving grace.

After getting a in-house customer to sign the reference form, one of their staff members appealed that under the present condition and having been a customer for a year I should be allowed to make withdrawals. This done and I left. As usual, I never bothered to find out if all issues were resolved. I felt if there was any other issue the bank has my contact details. At least a mail should have done. I must add, in the process of time, my account officer was transferred to another branch.

My last experience which happened recently was really traumatic. I got to the bank as early as possible to make withdraw, and was shocked to hear again I only had one reference confirmed. Interestingly it was the last one I dropped. Because of this, my account had been flagged and no debit could take place. On closer enquiry I was told they never confirmed one of the references I had submitted in 2010. So if I could wait, the customer service could send a mail to headquarters to confirm which of the initial references. We had to wait for reply for about four hours to get reply. After four hours I became impatient and asked if I could close my account to have access to money. This was also denied on the ground that no debit could be made on my account.

To cut the story short, it took sudden appearance of my ex- account officer, who came to the branch for official assignment to rescue me by helping to get new in-house reference again. Even after that, it also took another one and half hours to scan the reference, send mail for authorization and to get feedback on way forward. But for Abayomi, my former account officer, who is now in GRA Ikeja, I would had been in serious trouble. Though I may have foreclosed any dealing with SCB. My question today:

-Why does it take bank ages to get across to customers if there is any issue in this age of technology?

-If initial account officer is transferred, whose duty is it to get new account officer for the customer? Till date, no new account officer had been assigned to me.

– If an officer in a bank send mail to cross check information to another official in the same bank, should it take ages to get a response?

-Should customers be delayed more than 30 minutes for a transaction in this age? Especially those who have long standing relationship with the bank. Often Customers spend ages, losing precious man-hours in the process of transacting business with banks here.

This is my experience, what is your opinion?


  1. Standard Chartered Bank and unsavoury Customer Service … « Customer Service Max - February 28, 2012

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