Fidelity Bank Of Fisticuff! Who Will Rescue Fidelity Bank Customers From Brutal Beating By Staff?
By Tunde Babalola
If truly a bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain, then Fidelity Bank might be getting drenched in torrential doses of the proverbial bank’s poison.
Fidelity Bank Plc has continued to project itself as one Nigerian bank with deluge of abysmal customer abuses; and if a piece of news emanated from the bank is anything to go by, it is safe to say the bank will perpetuate consistency in these abuses. What manner of customer service could have made a branch manager of Fidelity Bank to give order to beat up customers just because they complained about their woeful service?
According to an eye witness account, Fidelity Bank’s woeful delivery of customer service walked on all fours in a branch of the bank in Kola, Alagbado area of Lagos on Thursday when two of the customers who were frustrated when one of the automated teller machines (ATM) failed to dispense cash to them but went ahead to debit their accounts. Helpless and stranded, the customers went inside the bank to register their complaint, an act which snowballed into a shouting match between the customers and one of the bank personnel. This attracted the attention of the branch manager.
The manager, rather than bring the situation under control, aggravated the issue by showing dearth of conflict resolution skills. In anger, the manager ordered brutish beating of the customers and asked that they be bundled out of the banking hall. This got many of the customers transacting inside the hall to rise in solidarity with the maltreated customers and almost caused a chaos. It took the intervention of some people to bring sanity back.
The afore-narrated account is the latest in their litany of inefficiencies of Fidelity Bank. The bank is noted for its aggressive human resources policy. Only weeks ago, some aggrieved, unfairly disengaged workers laid siege to the bank when an order, allegedly from the Managing Director of the Bank, saw to the termination of their appointment with immediate effect without having their entitlements and gratuities sorted out.
The bank is said to have been implementing some draconian policy in recent time in its bid to prune its work force. It is said that it has become a norm in the bank for Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank MD, to lay off staff unlawfully and indiscriminately without any regard to their service years and loyalty.
Customers’ deposits have also had to be tampered with on numerous occasions, as some staffers of the bank have faced prosecution for stealing customers’ money. One Ihionu Chibuike who had to be dismissed from the bank is currently serving a jail term of six years after pleading guilty to four-count charge of stealing, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and impersonation.
The Allen-Avenue branch of the bank is always inundated with people with barrage of complaints about frauds perpetrated by personnel of the bank on their accounts. N250 million of a customer’s money was stolen by a senior staff member of the Allen-Avenue branch. The thieving dude, who disappeared into the thin air when the lid was blown off his underhand dealing, capitalised on the leaky internal security system of the bank and made away with N250 million.