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Lookin Inside from Outside

The Way Banks treat Their Customers

When financial institutions in Liberia only pretend to value their customers, but continue to create hurdles in the process of access what they really deserve without any interventions by those who regulate these institutions, Lord, hear our prayer.  The foregoing, is in reference to how some commercial banks, especially Ecobank-Liberia, treats its customers.

One of the primary reasons Ecobank may be attracting many customers than any other commercial banks in Liberia is its international nature and connections.  The fact that one has an account with Ecobank-Liberia, especially in international currencies, the possibility of accessing such account outside of Liberia- say Ghana, Nigeria and other African countries is high- that’s exactly why most private and public institutions continue to pay their employees through it.

But something is happening here- and perhaps, overwhelmed by such huge influx of customers, the bank’s performance- whether customer service or whatever, is now below expectation, mainly to those doing business with it.

Besides the regular and uncontrollable thefts occurring at Ecobank, the repetition of problems ranging from very poor customer service to accessing deposits, continue to characterize the bank’s operations- and this is something on the lips of all of us who do business with this bank.

Can you imagine, when one is really in need of cash from his/her accounts, the problem may either be “system break-down or some kind of something.” To even talk about the ATM service, is an everyday problem- I mean, this is something practical that all who rely on the ATM service can speak about. Whether or not the machines are really down, only the consciences of the Ecobank Management knows the truth of the matter- but this is really discouraging.

Most discouraging is the fact that the bank would even delay the payment of salaries for between two and five days or more despite the fact that buck or individual deposit of salaries had earlier been deposited with the bank by employers for the period mentioned.

And on a number of occasions, comptrollers and finance officers of the private and public institutions intervene following complaints from employees before their salaries are placed directly into their individual accounts- no wonder why some of these institutions have even left Ecobank to do business with other banking institutions.

As reputable as efficient and effective many of us had initially considered Ecobank to be, these problems were the least we anticipated. Even though there may be other challenges with which the bank may be confronted, one would expect that by most of these challenges as mentioned would have been over-with – if and only if they are realistic and not intentional.

And if customers, including employees of private and public institutions continue to undergo such frustrating situations without any redress, trust me, I and others would be the next to our accounts with Ecobank and leave.

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