Posts Tagged ‘Guaranty Trust Bank’

By Jove there’s got to be something between banks and I, and all of the wrong kind! If I didn’t know better I’d say/think it was karma but it’s definitely not. Not with the slave hours I put in as a marketer for Intercontinental Bank (now merged and renamed Access Bank) back in 2006. That’s a story (or some stories) for another day.

Remember the GT Bank drama chronicles that I documented? Sigh… That was an ugly experience for all the parties concerned, my humble self included. Glad it was sorted, and I still feel sorry for the persons burned in the process of me getting sorted. Do you know I ended up looking like the mean person when I was the one who had been wronged? Sigh again.

Ok, let’s chronicle this episode, shall we? I had been told that Stanbic IBTC, being a ‘foreign bank’, would have less issues with caring for their customers. After this encounter with them though, only ‘same ten and ten pence’ comes to mind when I think of them.

So I was in Nigeria in August for my aunt’s funeral and decided to use the opportunity to sort out my accounts – shut down some, and start to use others a bit more.

Got into Stanbic IBTC on the 14th of August with my cousin who works in the Asset Management wing. We went to the counter, I said I needed to register for internet banking, and I was asked to fill out a form. I filled it out carefully and was told I would get a text in 24 hours. Did I get it? Of course not!

Went back on the 21st,and I was told that I didn’t get the text because…(wait for it)… the phone number on my account wasn’t a Nigerian number. What!!! Is there a reason why no one mentioned this when I filled out the form? When I opened the account in February? The lady said she noticed after I had left. No one could email to say this?

Breathe FGS, breathe. I was asked to fill out a ‘change of phone number’ form (or some other silly sounding document). I filled it, and again I was told I would get a message in 24 hours. Yeah right, of course I didn’t get it. Wouldn’t have needed to blog this if I’d gotten it.

Now, my flight back to the UK was slated for the night of the 26th of August and so that morning, in the course of my last-minute errands, I dropped by Stanbic IBTC to ask about this mysterious text that had probably sworn not to appear on my phone, and ask about their definition of ’24 hours’.

Got there, and brethren that was when someone pulled out the ‘change of phone number’ document to attend to and put through the system! Then they said to “go home and expect the text in 24 hours”.

That was when I ‘sparked’. How many times would I have to go and come for something as inconsequential as internet banking? How many times would I go and wait for a text that was clearly never going to come? I was miffed. Especially since, being the typical Nigerian lady, the ‘never-smiling’ urchin behind the counter decided to mask (or attempt to mask) her incompetence with bravado and sass.

Wasn’t having none of that so I asked to see the manager. And I asked for her name (Temi) because I didn’t really see what I would be describing to the manager. I went upstairs, met him, and complained, complete with dates and times. He apologised profusely, rang and had harsh words with the customer care team because apparently I wasn’t the only one who had complained of poor treatment from a customer care unit that’s supposed to ‘treat you right’.

Ladies and gentlemen, I got the so-called text within the hour! Why must issues degenerate to near fisticuffs before people do what they are supposed to? Why?

Not only did I get it, the manager told me I could have sorted out the online banking business online! Mind you, the customer care guys had said it could only be done in the bank.


P:S – I wasn’t told I needed a token for transactions, so chances that there will be a part 2 to this tale are very high!

UPDATE: a couple hours after this blogpost was published, I saw this message on Twitter from Stanbic IBTC.


Very nice of them… I will be getting in touch!


My Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) ATM card is here! Finally!

In case you  missed the very sad story on my ‘ordeal’ with the Bloomsbury branch of Guaranty Trust Bank in Abuja, it is here.

So, I published the story the day after I got back into London, and there were retweets, comments, all of that; the solidarity was incredible. Maybe because I’m a good person (big smile) or seriously, maybe because there are quite a few people with a chip on their shoulder for GTB. Judge for yourself from the comments.

Anyway, from the day the post went up, different GTB officials got in touch, and said they’d send the card to me.

Long story short, my card arrived in the post yesterday. Whoop! A few pictures…

Old card.... can finally be laid to rest.

Old card…. can finally be laid to rest.

The new card... Plus a  'love letter' from GT, was thinking they'd compensate me for the 'trauma' I suffered sef.

The new card… Plus a
‘love letter’ from GT, was thinking they’d compensate me for the ‘trauma’ I suffered sef.

The parcel.... Whoop!

The parcel…. Whoop!

I’m particularly thankful to Pauline (TSG, Abuja), Onyeka (Abuja), Olaniyi (Lagos), and especially Bukola from the Victoria Island branch who made it a point of duty to keep calling and updating me on the activities to sort me (and the card) out.

Thank you so much!

Final word? Dear GTB, I am a trained social media strategist with varied levels of experience (including catering to really large numbers). I’m happy to design a training module for your social media team, they could really do with a few tips to be honest. You have my number!



I’ve been a Guaranty Trust Bank customer since 2003, just under thirteen years. A child born then would have started their period or had their first wet dream, depending on their gender. To be honest, I got the account because a close family friend worked there, and in the days when ATM’s weren’t popular, it was easy to ‘check my balance’ anytime I wanted.

Moved from one account to five in 2o10, needed the domiciliary accounts because I was going to school. Since then I’ve fallen in and out of love with GTBank several times and I’m almost equating my relationship with them to being in an abusive relationship I’m gathering the willpower to leave.

Some days I’ve found out my account was frozen (for the most silly, unfathomable reasons) when I tried to use my card, other days their ‘system was down’, while on some other days the card would just be declined, on a well-funded account. Each time I’d have to call, stay on hold (you know the drill), exchange emails, and not get anything sorted till I yelled. And then I’d feel bad about it later.

But, I have stayed. Why? Cos even with their cumbersome token business, theirs is the only Nigerian internet banking system I use, and so far, so good. Plus, being able to use my Naira card abroad is just brilliant. Saves me both time, and charges with transfers to my accounts here.

Today though, I’m livid.

I traveled to Nigeria on the 7th of March, got in early in the morning on the 8th. Same day, I went to GTBank situated in Bloomsbury Plaza, in Wuse 2, and asked for a new ATM card. My card would expire in April, my ticket back to England was dated 01-04-2013 (also known as the 1st of April), and I didn’t want to take any chances with it not being ready.

I spoke with Jimoh Ojo, a Customer Care Representative, and explained that I needed the card before the 1st because I needed to travel with it. He said I didn’t need to make a request for it, that my card would automatically be sent to Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, where the account was opened. I had no business there and I said so, and so he said to request a new card, I would be charged for it, and it would take eight days, during which the card I had would be disabled. I agreed, filled out a form, and left.

Traveled to the East a couple days after, got back to Abuja on Monday, and visited the bank on Wednesday the 27th of March to pick up the card. To start with, I had to stand and wait for the said Customer Care Representative to finish taking pictures of his colleague, then the female beside him asked what I was there for. I told them and after I wrote out my account number on a sheet of paper they provided, Jimoh Ojo said (very calmly), “your card would have been sent to Abakaliki”.

I nearly passed out. With all the pains I took to get to the bank on the 8th just to avoid this, and all the advice I was given? GTBank had NINETEEN (19) days to provide a card they claim is ready in 8 days, and what do I hear? With all the civility I had left, I explained the events of the 8th, expressed my displeasure and then he said, “let me see if the card was sent here”. Of course it wasn’t there. To check if the card had really been sent to Abakaliki, and I was told, “the system is down”.

Anger. Frustration. Disgust. Especially when they started on the ‘don’t be offended please’. Really? I should be ecstatic and probably buy you roses for not doing your job? I was going to sit and wait for the ‘system to come back up’ but he promised to sort it and let me know (plus I had so much to do) so I left. To be fair, he called later that evening, but only to say the system was still down. *sigh*

Thursday the 28th of March was the last working day before Easter, nothing. No word, no card.

I returned to England yesterday, without my ATM card, and bile in my heart, especially since when I tweeted about it, the silly person behind GTBank’s Twitter account sent me the generic, spam type message – Hi, our sincere apologies. Please contact us via with details of this issue. Thank you– they send to every tweet they’re mentioned in (I’m sure if I checked well they’d give that reply to a greeting as well).

Not due in Nigeria till Christmas time so dear Guaranty Trust Bank, what do I do? I’ll rephrase; what are you going to do?