Bonkers Banking in the Land of Gold


Whilst at the Accra Mall last week, I decided to open an account at the Barclay's bank there. I have a Barclay's account in London too so it just seemed like common sense. Unfortunately, I didn't have all my relevant information I needed to finish opening my account there and then so the bank employee made me fill out the application form and I promised to return in a few days with all my supporting documents. The gentleman assured me that this would be no problem at all and that he was looking forward to seeing me in a few days. I really didn't want to be one of those people who's constantly comparing Ghana with what I've come to know but DAMN! I just had to share some of the different banking practices between my home country and my adopted country(ies).

When I returned two days later in order to finish opening the account, I went into the bank looking for a "personal banker" kiosk or office of some sort. Instead, there was a man and a woman sitting side by side in front of their computers right next to the long line for the telllers. Fortunately for me, there was no queue for the "personal bankers" when I entered so the man immediately summoned me over. Now this was a different man from the one I had seen previously and after searching for my application for fifteen minutes, he told me to start filling out another one whilst he continued to look for the one I had filled out earlier. "Why continue to search for it if you're still going to make me fill out another form?" was the thought that immediately popped into my head, however, I chose not to verbalise that thought and dutifully began to fill in the form.

So while I was filling out the form which asks personal questions like my name, address, telephone number, income, etc. etc., a man and woman sat on either side of me. They were close, like shoulder-to-shoulder close, and the woman happily began to read over my shoulder. I stopped writing and stared at her with a bemused look on my face. She merely grinned at me and continued to peruse my application like she was checking for spelling mistakes. She then asked the banker to check her account balance for her and he did so within plain view of myself.

While the banker was "processing" my new application form, he stopped to deal with at least 6 other customers, with no semblance of privacy,  so it took exactly 47 minutes (I checked) for my account to be opened. I was then told that I would get a whopping 10 free cashpoint withdrawals with the opening of my account (!). The process took even longer because the banker insisted on flirting heavily with every woman that approached the desk- myself included.

So it was a great relief when I finally left the bank clutching my brand new ATM card, vowing never to return until absolutely necessary. Fastforward to the next day and I receive a call on my phone from a number I don't recognise. I tentatively answer the call:

Banker: "Good afternoon Sankofa. How are you today?"
Sankofa: "Fine thank you.Um who is this please?"
Banker: "It's me from the bank! Have you forgotten me already?"
Sankofa: "Erm... is there any trouble with my account?"
Banker: "Oh not at all, I just wanted to call and say hello. Since you seemed to be in a rush yesterday, I thought we could talk today."
Sankofa: ".........."
Banker: "Hello? Are you there?"
Sankofa: "You know what? I'm a little busy at the moment so I'm going to have to talk to you later" (CLICK!)

I could hardly believe my ears. This man essentially steals my telephone number from a "confidential" application form and he expects me to be happy to hear from him? This was compounded by the fact that this was the second time in a week this had happened to me. A worker at MTN also decided it would be okay to "steal" my number whilst apparently "fixing" my phone for me. And to rub salt in the wound, the damn phone still wouldn't connect to the internet! Is telephone number theft the norm nowadays?


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17 opinionated people have something to say:

Nsoromma...Child of the Heavens said...

The cheek! I would have given him a piece of my mind, fat lot of good it would do! Our people take the mick without even realising it! Can u imagine having a sexual health check in Ghana? Oh the indignities!

Myne Whitman said...

I would certainly have told him off and reported to higher authority, when we all keep quiet, good service and professionalism goes to the dogs.

BTW, I like the new template.

Nita said...

Say hello!!!!??? Holy Moly!! You shoulda screamed his ear off..I know i would... :P

Abena said...

totally unrelated but...nice new layout for your blog!

Afrocentric said...

i cant believe it! what nonsense!

Sankofa said...

@Nsoromma You know I don't like to offend people....

@Myne Whitman The thought fleeted across my mind, but then I couldn't be bothered!

@Nita I'm finding GH too hot to scream lol!

@Abena Cheers luv! (In my best chav accent)

@Afrocentric You berra believe am well well

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

I think the employees of service providers do quite a bit of that. There was a story a couple of years ago about a girl who had made a nude phone video of herself for her bf, and who took her phone to a telco for configuration. an employee snooped and saw the video and bluetoothed it to himself. a few days later, the video was end-to-end swinging in Accra.

Anonymous said...

You must always remember where you are....Obviouslt this must be a tried and tested method in Ghana and you Ghanain Sisters may not have taken offence so far. "when in Rome....

Abena Serwaa said...

LOL! I think I'm more shocked that this story does not surprise me in the slightest. I have become too used to such shameless inappropriate moves!

Sankofa said...

@Nana Yaw I can't imagine the humiliation the poor girl must have felt. Do people even get punished for things like this? Somehow I doubt it...

@Anonymous Well from today, I'm taking offence! Lol

@Abena Serwaa That says a whole lot! I wasn't even upset by it just so shocked.n I'm sure in time I'll be impervious to it all.

enyonam said...

Jeez!! What do these shameless, idiotic idiots think? I'm so glad that you cut him off.. Its good you didn't waste your time trying to report cus, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the person you reported to ( supposing it was a male) tried to flirt with you too.hmmph!!

Friday's Afro said...

hahahahaha! why does this sort of thing always happen to you? haha

Sankofa said...

@enyonam That wouldn't surprise me either!

@Friday's Afro I'm glad you find my trials and tribulations amusing. Your head like kenkey....

Afrocentric said...

@ Friday's Afro lol!! hahaha. Why do you always see the funny side in everything?

Anonymous said...

This is a serious violation of your rights. Nothing stops this "professionals"(and others of his ilk) from doing worse damage to your financial health.

Please write to the Managing Director of Barclays Ghana, and threaten to escalate to Head of Africa Operations if you don't get satisfaction.

Apathy kills!

Sankofa said...

@Anonymous I know it's a violation of my rights but the sad thing is, I don't think anybody would take me seriously if I complained. People just don't seem to look at it as a big deal. I've gotten over it after the initial shock lol.

Nubian Queen said...

Haha this is too funny! This does not suprise me though! Ghana is great :)..lol!

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