Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) came into existence and took the Nigerian banking industry to a new height. They offered exceptional products, excellence customer services and lovely buildings cum ambience for customers to have lovely experience performing various financial and non-financial transactions anytime they visit their branch office. GTB was one of the first banks that took Internet banking to the next level and other banks followed suit. So it is right for me to say that GTB is a trendsetter in Nigerian banking industry.
These achievements were all recorded under late Tayo Aderinokun, the former MD who brought dynamism and success the bank benefitted immensely, which gave them the huge customer base they enjoy today. In fact, late Mr Tayo brought stability to the bank. May his soul continue to rest in peace.
However, Tayo like Steve Job of Apple died with the innovative attributes of the bank leaving the bank as the worst customer service bank in Nigeria lately.
Banks world over offer one thing: FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION. Taking money from surplus sector to lend to deficit sector is the core function of any bank globally. Every other function of the bank is service function. This is why banks belong to service industry and as a matter of principal take customer satisfaction very serious BY REFERRING TO THEM AS “KING”. They triumph among other competitors by selling to their customers’ exceptional customer service relationship and management. This service is very vital to banks as those services are what actually make bank “A” different from bank “B”. Most bank workers you see and refer to as marketers are actually customer relationship managers. However, because they have targets to meet, most go about with account opening forms. But primarily, they are there to give banks actual and potential customers the best service.
However, this exceptional customer service has become a luxury for GTB as they have consistently found wanting from most of their customers I have interviewed to obtain more information about the charges GTB subject them too. Most complain that when they use GTB to withdraw money, the ATM won’t pay them and GTB won’t refund them. I mean those who withdraw money in pounds. Some, it took GTB 3 months to pay back and upon receiving their money, GTB will charge them service charge for a service not rendered. These customers cannot complain because they believe know nobody to complain to. This I believe is the same bad service GTB extended to Innoson Motors Group that made them engage in a serious show of shame with their customer, the number one car manufacturer in Nigeria.
For some who are not privy of the issues, I will present a brief background below:
During President Obasanjo regime, Innoson imported some motorcycle and agricultural machines but they were seized by the Customs despite meeting the requirements. Customs subsequently auctioned the goods worth billions of naira. Senator Iyabo “alleged” bought the goods at ridiculously low prices. Innoson sued Customs and the court ordered Customs to pay Innoson over N2 billion.
GTB which is one of the banks that manage custom’s account appealed the judgement, claiming that Customs had no money (IMPOSSIBLE), even though evidence showed that Customs had over 10 billion in their account with GTB. The Appeal Court upheld the High Court judgment. GTB went to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Innoson had earlier borrowed some money from GTB for business. Innoson noticed that some strange charges were being slammed on the account and told its auditors to audit the account. It found out that GTBank had charged it some strange 700 million.
Furthermore, Innoson sued GTB and the court ruled in favour of Innoson, asking GTBank to pay Innoson the sum of N560 million with some CBN-sanctioned interest on it, which made the penalty continue to mount against GTB. GTB appealed again. The judgment was upheld. GTB went to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile last year, GTB got an ex parte motion to freeze all Innoson accounts in all banks in Nigeria. Imagine how unprofessional this current GTB managing director is. This lasted for 9 months until a court quashed that sometime last month. Innoson then slammed N30 billion suit on GTBank for damages it suffered during that freezing of its accounts and crippling of its businesses.
Currently, Innoson has N10 billion judgment against GTB with the interest mounting every day. Plus N30 billion case still pending at Supreme Court. If Supreme Court rules in favor of Innoson, GTB may go under after paying that huge sum.
They are now desperately looking for how to undermine the services of our respectable judicial system. They are ready to pay any judge who will upturn the previous decision of the judiciary. But that met a brick wall as no Judge want to involve them in any irresponsible act of killing Innoson Business with obnoxious court judgment.
Having lost there, GTB resorted to creating a bad impression about Innoson being a bad customer that took a loan and refused to pay, which is far from the truth from all the reports from the cases including the judgments by the judges.
Are Nigerian youths who mostly bank with GTB going to fold their arms and watch some cowboys who feel they are untouchables kill INNOSON Motors that has attracted so much business in Nigeria and the youths employed? It was the success Innoson motors enjoyed in car manufacturing that attracted other car manufacturers to come to Nigeria. Today, we can boast of Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen and the imminent arrival of TATA makers of Jaguar Range Rover.
Could it be that the books of GTB is cooked placing them in the verge of insolvency if they honor court order?
CBN governor needs to put his searchlight on GTB to know why they have failed in exhibiting professional corporate governance. This was the same reason former CBN governor Sanusi (Now Emir of Kano) retired 6 bank MDs in 2009.
GTB bank is a time bomb waiting to explode. Nigeria cannot afford another big bank collapse. They should obey court order and prove to Nigerians that they are still one of the big banks. What is N10 billion to a bank who declared profit before tax of N116.385 bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2014?
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