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Business News of Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Source: Daily Guide

Cold war at GT Bank

Trouble is brewing at one of the emerging banks in the country, Guaranty Trust Bank (GT bank) Ghana Limited, over the alleged unfair treatment of workers by management.

The situation has led to a state of uneasiness among junior and mid-career workers of the bank who feel insecure at the hands of management.

This follows the dismissal of one Kwame Osiang Adjekum, an assistant banking officer with the bank.

A dismissal letter jointly signed by the bank’s head of Human Resource, Susan Okine and Group Head of Corporate Services, Iris Richter-Addo dated September 7, 2010, did not state the reason for the termination of Mr. Adjekum’s appointment.

It only said “your services are no longer required by the bank.”

The bank has since asked him to arrange to have his identification card, lapel pin, credit policy guide and all other documents belonging to the bank returned to the human resource department.

They have also resolved to communicate their indebtedness to Mr. Adjekum and whatever entitlements due him, including a month’s salary in lieu of notice by 30th September 2010.

His dismissal has sent threatening signals to workers of the bank since they feel insecure at the developments.

Several of these workers have been speaking with DAILY GUIDE on condition of anonymity about the cold treatment being meted out to them at the bank.

Public Relations Officer of the Labour Commission, Mohammed Affum, says the Commission has waded into the ‘strange’ circumstance under which Mr. Adjekum was dismissed from the bank, after he filed a petition at the Commission.

In his petition, a copy of which is in the possession of DAILY GUIDE, Mr. Adjekum stressed the belief that he was dismissed for the wrong reasons.

He narrated the circumstances leading to his dismissal following a complaint to his bosses by the Managing Director of Afrotropic Cocoa Processing Company (ACPL), Carlo Dagnino.

Dagnino was said to have visited the bank on Friday, September 3, 2010 without a scheduled appointment and on arrival called Mr Adjekum’s personal mobile phone.

The petition indicated that the victim had then left his phone on his desk and gone to the washroom.

Thinking that Mr. Adjekum was avoiding him or his calls, Mr. Dagnino proceeded to lodge a complaint with the MD of GT bank, Dolapo Ogundimu.

Dolapo then invited Mr. Adjekum to his office and demanded his mobile phone in the presence of the General Manager, Jamiu Yussuf and the Group Head of Consumer banking, Anthony Mensah, which he respectfully gave out.

He followed it up with the submission of his itemized bill indicating the call traffic between him and the client which indicated that he had been in touch with the said client.

Despite this fact, Mr. Adjekum said that Dolapo called for his resignation before close of day on Friday or have his appointment terminated. Dolapo went on to make allegations that he took this action because a customer had called him 10 times in two days without answering the calls.

This, Mr. Adjekum described as erroneous since he had visited the customer’s office on the previous Thursday with the Head of Risk Management, Daniel Gaikpah, who saw the number of times he spoke with the customer, both on the way to and from the customer’s office and factory.

Mr. Adjekum thus believes that he was wrongfully dismissed and thus asked the Labour Commission and whoever might be concerned to intervene in the matter.

When contacted, GT bank’s Head of Human Resources, Susan Okine, she said she was at a meeting and could not talk.

Even though she promised to call back, she never did.

Guaranty Trust Bank was registered in Ghana in October 2004 and obtained its universal banking licence from the Bank of Ghana on 23rd February, 2006, thereby paving the way for the commencement of operations.

The bank is a subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Bank Nigeria Plc which owns 95.72% of the issued share capital of the bank with Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) holding 2.14% and Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim, a Ghanaian business entrepreneur, holding the remaining 2.14%.

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