Guaranty Trust Bank may need to regain its reputation as Nigeria’s foremost financial institution, which seems to come under attack lately. Corporations the world over understand that ‘brand’ is a mark of distinction that sets them apart from competitors.
In May 2013, Punch Newspaper reported that the bank sacked 100 workers in an annual appraisal exercise of the bank for the 2013 financial year. This, however does not seem to go well with one Mr. Junaid Korede Agbabiaka (JKA), an affected staff, and had followed up with an open letter to the public.
In his words, ‘‘On Thursday 23rd May, 2013, GTBank reduced itself from an institution highly regarded in banking sector as the most respected corporate bank in Nigeria, renowned for both its professionalism and high ethical standards to a callous employer of labour. It decided to tow the path of ignominy by unjustly sacking over 100 staff of the bank.
‘‘To start with, where in the world do you notify people of your decision to sack them with their inability to log in to their various systems at work?’’ he queried.
Agbabiaka was quoted as saying that the decision to sack was made after the bank’s appraisal of its staff where those who had low scores (B) were told to leave as directed by Segun Agbaje, the Bank CEO, during the appraisal meeting.
‘‘What he failed to address was the lingering issue of victimisation and subjective appraisal by team leaders and bosses who have become tyrants in the bank. Most of these bosses hold on to personal grudges and flex their muscles only during the appraisal of their direct reports. While some of them use this as a tool to show superiority, others just do this to slow down the growth of their staff supposedly in line with Segun’s cost cutting strategy,’’ he continued.
The bank in a statement however responded it was paying a lot of attention to the reactions to the post by disgruntled staff on working conditions at Guaranty Trust Bank and are deeply humbled by the passion and intensity of the comments.
The statement said that the bank’s action and decision as an institution, including those reached after its recent appraisal exercise are in line with the Bank's corporate strategy, which was adopted in November 2011.
It further said this operational approach requires that a defined percentage of the lowest performing employees be asked to leave annually to create room for new individuals and fresh ideas as part of an ongoing rejuvenating programme.
The statement noted that the bank had therefore set up a dedicated URL www.youspokewelistened.org, to get responses to all grievances and enquiries, while calling on all to make suggestions on how best the bank can be sustained, as a proudly African and truly international institution.