Alva M. Wolokolie
Several customers in Monrovia doing business with Ecobank-Liberia have complained about bad customer service at the bank.
Ecobank whose official name is Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI) is a pan-African banking conglomerate, with banking operations in 30 African countries. It is the leading independent regional banking group in West Africa and Central Africa. It is one of the commercial banks licensed by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), the national regulator of all banks, to operate and provide banking services and products to government, financial institutions, medium, small and micro businesses as well as multinationals and international organizations.
In an exclusive interview with the INQUIRER last week, most of the customers explained that it is unfair to them for management to deduct US$2.00 from their accounts without their permission. Investigation conducted by this paper shows that Ecobank usually take away US$2.00 from each customer immediately after the consumer establishes an account at the bank.
For example, unlike other commercial banks where the customers are told the basic principles of the institution before establishing an account, Ecobank does not do that but instead subtracts the customers’ money at the end of every month.
Some of the customers talked to include; Kebeh Johnson, Mark Williams, John Kollie, Rebecca Thomson, among others. They described the decision of the bank as unfortunate and cruel to the growth of their income and willingness to raise money for their own sustenance. They also claimed that on several occasions management has refused to address their plight.
The customers also disclosed that transactions of the ATMs which are successfully carried out every day around the world without problems or interference by criminals and fraudsters have become a complete embarrassment here for them.
According to them, consumers should be in the position to use the ATMs card where and when they feel completely comfortable but unfortunately this is not the case with Ecobank in Liberia. They said the ATM site at Palm Spring Hotel, Red Light sub-branch, Sinkor branch, and the two sites on Randall Street and Benson Street intersection are usually down thus leading them to annoyance.
In spite of the many challenges the customers are faced with, they could not tell the INQUIRER their next decisions as to either stay or leave the bank but said they would reach a decision soon.
But in a reaction to the customer’s allegation, the Head, for Marketing and Communications at Ecobank Ivy V. Fairley described the statement as a complete falsehood and a misrepresentation of the bank. Madam Fairley said the US$2.00 deduction is part of the service charged by the bank and that under the E-banking service which comprises e-statement, e-alert, internet banking which is also part of the ATMs usage are all part of the banking products offered and paid for. “This is why when a customer transacts; he/she immediately receives e-mail notifying you about the transaction. We tell them everything before the account is established,” Fairly stated.