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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Columnist: Concerned Ghanaians

Dear ADB workers union leaders

Dear ADB workers union leaders,

I have for the past few weeks, monitored with very keen worrying interest, the happenings within our bank and the incalculable losses recorded as well the almost irreparable reputational risk we have exposed ourselves to. Prior to this charade of accusations and the very insincere crocodile tears by our Workers Unions and UNICOF; we had for the past 5 years under the Stephen Kpordzih-led administration, collectively created a very reputable brand and had become a modern universal bank with a sustained development outlook, highly efficient in policy-led agric-financing and recorded many enviable feats within the banking industry: the remarkable expansion in our branch network; our attraction, retention and blend of professionals with the skill set to compete with the best-in-class (within the industry); our repackaged and newly developed range of banking products and services; the deployment of state-of-the-art and fit-for-purpose high version IT platforms and solutions; competitive pricing, etc.
I am unable to recall all local and international awards attained, but I can say with great excitement that, significant amongst them is the CIMG (Chartered Institute Marketing, Ghana) Bank of the Year Award for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011); placing top in the prestigious African Investment Award for the second year running (2011 and 2012).
In 2013 alone, the Bank won 15 awards locally and internationally. These include 4 awards during the 2013 Ghana Banking Awards ceremony: Best Bank– Medium Term Loan Financing, Best Bank -Corporate Social Responsibility and Best Bank– Agricultural Financing; ADB placed third in the Best Bank –Competitive Pricing Category. The international awards include the B.I.D Platinum for Quality and excellence in New York; the Management Golden Award for quality and Business Prestige in Rome and the European Business Assembly Achievements 2013 Awards in London. Altogether, the bank has won about 25 prestigious awards conferred across the globe between 2010 and 2013. These and many other achievements attest to the stable growth, efficient organizational structure, impressive financial performance, strategic direction, technological innovation, knowledge of local market, use of local human capital, focus on agriculture and sustainable development.
In the 2014 edition of the annual Ghana banking survey conducted by the Accounting firm, PwC Ghana, the comparative data analysis for the period 2010-2013 resulted in the conclusion that, “ADB’s realignment of its operating model as a universal bank has yielded good positive results to shareholders”. Indeed, our shareholders are proud of our dedication, hardwork and the noble feats collectively attained. It is therefore not surprising that, we are amongst the top 3 highest paid employees within the Ghanaian banking industry. Has our condition of living become better off under Steve? Yes, of course!!!

The crocodile tears of our Union leaders are insincere and this whole charade of purported quest for accountability is fuelled by unholy clandestine motives, attention-seeking interests, vexatious, whimsical and capricious strategies. We know why you cast aspersions at men who have achieved a lot on their public records…Just to catch somebody’s eye. I don’t envy the painful duty you are engaged in…craving for irrelevance.
My dear leaders, stop it, for you are losing the confidence of your colleagues. Can’t you see it? You wear the evil smock underneath a fine cassock with painful fitness but pretending to be fighting for a holy and just course…you misled and threatened your colleagues to illegally close down branches: days after you were paid with a special bonus. The bases of your actions have changed from one waggish point to the other. You have destroyed the good brand we have all fought for; we have become an object of ridicule; we feel embarrassed to wear our adb branded accessories and clothes; you have breached all tenets of confidentiality by cowardly and anonymously leaking unverified documents purporting to be emanating from the same institution you have sworn an oath of confidentiality to.
For a Bank which professes a culture of customer excellence, you woke up one day and threatened your colleagues not to serve our cherished customers when you knew that was an illegality and an unfair punishment to our customers. To satisfy your evil desires, you perpetuated this evil agenda on a day salaries of our numerous customers were paid…so the impact on our customers could be highly felt. As staff, we have been given annual targets to engage our customers in deposit mobilization drives and product sales...How do we go back to the same customers we turned our backs on to achieve our targets? Indeed, those of us who have still not been able to achieve our targets risk dismissal…We are worried and our dependents are worried too.
Indeed, he who seeks equity must come with clean hands and certainly you are not clean. Since we elected you into office, you have never found it necessary to share with us minutes and programs of the Union; We don’t matter as far as your planning is concerned; we pay monthly dues but have never sighted budgets of your activities (if any); we are never given any opportunity to approve your budgets; the programs, expenditure and revenue of the union have been kept in secrecy; nobody audits you because you run the Union like your personal businesses.
We came to work with red banners all over our Head office without knowing what was happening till you later called an emergency meeting at a venue which could contain less than 40 people to insight us to join what we then thought was a genuine course (all this while, colleagues in the branches were kept in the dark). Who, when and where was the decision to protest taken? You talk of accountability and describe your employers as men of ‘GROSS INCOMPETENCE and CORRUPT’. We never elected you to engage in name calling but that has become your stock in trade. You soon forget, that, the audited Financial Statement of the bank was completed by KPMG (a month before you started calling for an independent auditor to audit the books of the bank). Yet, you mischievously call for another audit. Is the bank audited every month? Even when the Central Bank intervenes, you demand for another private auditor...to do what? Supervise the Central Bank? You have become a calamitous blight on the intra-cohesion of staff and the image of the bank...it's no longer funny. You have created bad faith between staff and management, customers and the bank; and at this rate, your continuous stay in office will further jeopardize our overall objectives and undermine our benefits during the collective bargaining agreement discussions. Can we trust that you will engage our employer in good faith and with good will?
You complain of Write-offs when you know that Write-Offs are recoverable and keeping those Non performing loans in our books will mean provisions would have to made on them (which is a cost to the bank).
You complain about why we will convert a non-interest bearing asset (car park) into a multi-dollar edifice which will give us about 15% equity in the Accra Financial Center.
You complain about how much deposit we realized last year and decides to illegally lock out our branches to the customers…Hoping that will make us realize more deposits huh?
You complain of loans going bad when you know that business has set up Collections and the Business Support and Recoveries Unit to address these problems. I guess it's the job of the MD and the Board to pursue our clients for loan recovery....smh!!!
You call the MD incompetent and corrupt when the Audit report and achievements say otherwise. You forget that, you are a culprit to your own allegations. Can you preach accountability when you can’t live by that same standard and to that extent, deny your colleagues the right to be informed about the state of affairs of the Union?
You wake up one day and locked down branches when you know your conduct is illegal. You did so because a colleague was dismissed for alleged fraudulent conduct 5 years ago (1825 days). Really? You are clutching on straws to take these decisions with far reaching consequences. If indeed, you were genuinely fighting for the course of a colleague (who many of us do not know), why did it take you 1825 days to act? The more reason why you lack the needed competence to lead us?
Look!!! Either the game changes; or the players and in the light of the above, I will entreat you to sit back, take an introspection and reconsider your parochial interests and callous conducts which have become an albatross on us… Our rights to expression and association cannot be decoupled from the sense of responsibility enjoined us…Like Oliver Wendell Holmes opined, “Your right to swing your arm ends where another man’s nose begins”. We are not in a lawless society and our ability to recognize this is what separates us from other living beings.
Always Remember that the loud silence of your members should not be seen an endorsement of your actions. Hope we don't get to a point, where, we will either impeach you or leave the Union which we don't feel a part of anyway!!!! Coming events always cast their shadows and the wordto the wise is enough.
I will sign off with no name because the HR policy of the bank restrains me from making publications without permission.
Yours Sincerely,
A very worried Staff of adb