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Press Releases of Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Source: BACBA

Deliberate action of financial institutions (banks) in Ghana towards their customers

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Business is an indisputable major agent in the transition towards more sustainable economic growth. The role of business in contributing to sustainable development remains indefinite.

Globally, a large number of businesses exist with the goal of making profits whilst increasing shareholders’ net. Coupled with the profit goals, they place customers at the center stage of their operations upholding the phrase ‘the customer is the king’. This has been led to the race for customer base to achieve competitive advantage in the industry.

Despite the great impact of the Novel COVID-19 Pandemic on the global business world, businesses still hold up the standards of meeting their customers’ requirements/needs of which the financial institutions cannot be overemphasized. Banks in particular are upholding the global COVID-19 precautions such as handwashing, wearing of nose masks, social/physical distancing among others in the banking halls.

This is in a bit to prevent the spread of the Novel Pandemic and protect customers and patrons of their services. Some of these banks have also taken up the challenge to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) by donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to government agencies and communities to help fight the pandemic. These are efforts worth commending.

However, the Brong Ahafo Coalition of Businesses Association (BACBA) have found some practices of some institutions unsatisfactory to customers. BACBA is a coalition with objectives to; establishing linkages with development partners, both nationally and internationally, undertaking community level assessment in the areas of health, education and income generating opportunities in both rural and urban areas, organizing participatory programmes identification, preparation, and implementation of projects in rural and urban communities throughout the country, providing advocacy services for rural and urban communities as well as promoting and campaigning for support for self-help initiators as individuals or community in order to remove barriers hampering the successful operation of our businesses.

It has a membership of over 8000 comprising various businesses such as Media Houses, Farmer-Based Groups, Petty Traders, Cold Store Operators, Hairdressers and Barbers, Garages and Vulcanizers, NGOs, CBOs, Mobile Money Operators, Internet Café Operators and Printing Press Operators among others across Bono East, Bono and Ahafo Regions.

BACBA is a coalition of businesses in Brong Ahafo aimed at promoting the welfare of its members.

The Coalition have been receiving complaints from members and non-members concerning customer turn-away from financial institutions especially banks since the inception of the compulsory wearing of nose masks at all public places directive.

Though, this is a step in the right direction to help ensure the enforcement of the government’s directive to prevent the spread of the virus, customers have been greatly disadvantaged by this action.

More so, if these financial institutions really see customers as ‘kings’ and acknowledge that their operational’ survival largely depends on their customers, then why turn them away? If financial institutions, banks for that matter are able to fulfil their CSR role, then why can’t they cherish their
customers by providing them with nose masks to allow them transact businesses?

We all know the adverse effects of COVID-19 on the business economy so far and we think this unsatisfactory treatment to customers will further endanger the larger business economy. Additionally, these customers have been denied access to their own savings intended to meet emergency needs and take care of other needs.

We feel that financial institutions particularly banks are neglecting their customers’ needs by denying them access to financial transactions as a result of their inability to acquire and/or wear nose masks. We are therefore calling on such entities to as a matter of urgency provide their customers who come to their facilities without nose masks with nose masks to allow them to transact business.

This will erase the public perception of banks being insensitive by ill-treating their customers during this Pandemic era which can lead to loss of customers and subsequently affect the general operations of such institutions.

In conclusion, as we are urging all financial institutions particularly banks to meet other non-financial needs of their customers by providing each customer with nose masks, we are calling on our members particularly those affected by such actions to remain resolute and continue to observe the COVID-19 preventive precautions.

Also, we urge all members to take advantage of the government’s business stimulus fund to strengthen their operations and remain in business during and after the Pandemic.

Thank you.

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