Banks shut branches over customer attacks

According to The Nigerianwatch, as the naira remains scarce, some banks are closing their branches due to increased customer attacks.

This came a day after the Lagos State Police Command issued a warning that some groups were planning to incite violence in the state due to a lack of naira.

According to Nigerianwatch, some banks have begun to allow non-essential employees to work from home.

According to the findings, Zenith Bank has closed some branches in Lagos State for fear of being attacked by angry Nigerians due to the ongoing naira scarcity.

Some Zenith Bank branches in Ikeja, Ikorodu, and Agege were closed on Tuesday, while others were closed earlier.

Banks have been on the receiving end of Nigerians' frustration since the naira redesign policy began.

Social media has been flooded with videos of people climbing counters, stripping, and expressing their rage in banking halls.

Nigerians have been having difficulty obtaining the new naira notes as the February 10 deadline approaches.

As a result, some banks in the state have been attacked, and protests in states such as Edo and Oyo have devolved into riots.

Banks have recently been the target of violent attacks. When riots erupted over the weekend in Ibadan, a Wema Bank branch was vandalized. Many banks have increased their security and caution as a result of this.

Due to the heightened tensions caused by the country's protracted naira scarcity, some commercial banks on Tuesday ordered the closure of some of their branches until further notice.

According to our correspondent's findings, some bank branches in certain parts of Lagos were asked to close operations due to a lack of cash to pay customers.

The directive, it was gathered, was intended to prevent potentially violent reactions from disgruntled customers who had already begun to take the law into their own hands in some parts of the country.

A senior Sterling Bank official, who declined to be identified, confirmed to our correspondent that some of the bank's branches in the Lagos neighborhood of Lekki were closed on Tuesday.

"They opened but were asked to close," the source said. All branches that did not have cash were asked to close. Non-essential personnel have been directed to resume remote work."

According to the source, the closure of some banks was made necessary due to the untenable attitude of frustrated customers who believe commercial banks are to blame for the current naira scarcity.

"Imagine a scenario in which some customers arrive at the bank with a cane. They claim they intend to flog the bank employees. Customers now believe banks are the source of the naira's scarcity as a result of media reports that the EFCC has arrested some bank managers for cash hoarding. "This is not true," the source added.

"Kindly be informed that there is no memo ordering Sterling staff to work from home," said Sterling Bank in an emailed response. All of our branches and offices are open and fully operational. Due to concerns about an impending strike by petroleum operators, non-essential staff have been given the option to use the existing hybrid work policy (for staff members who are not required on-premises), while essential staff are present and working on-premises during working hours to ensure the bank's operations run smoothly.

"There have also been challenges experienced by staff in commuting to and from work due to petrol scarcity and the resultant difficulties in getting fuel. This is accompanied by an increase in general unrest in some parts of the country.

"We are pleased to inform you that all Sterling locations across the nation have the compliments of her essential staff on premises during working hours and are fully operational at this time. The bank is closely monitoring the situation and will take any necessary precautions to ensure the safety of its employees, customers, and the general public."

In a related development, our correspondent learned that First Bank Nigeria has directed that some of its branches remain closed until further instructions are communicated.

According to a source who confirmed the development to our correspondent, some of the bank's branches that were deemed vulnerable to violent demonstrations by customers were directed to close, while other branches that did not have enough cash to pay customers were also asked to close.

"Dear Colleagues, " read a memo titled "Temporary Closure of our LASPOTECH branch, Lagos State," sent to the bank's LASPOTECH branch in Lagos. Please be advised that the LASPOTECH branch in Lagos State is temporarily closed for business today, Tuesday, 7 February 2023, due to a security advisory."

Banks in Ojodu Berger and Isheri Road ceased operations on Tuesday due to a cash shortage in the country's financial sector.

According to The Nigerianwatch, the Zenith Bank, opposite Ojodu Mall, had the premises closed for business because the lending bank's securities prevented bank customers from entering.

Similarly, our correspondent reported that the Guaranty Trust Bank, located on Bashiru Street in Ojodu Berger, was closed and the ATMs did not work.

Customers were allowed to enter the Access Bank on Oremeta Street, Ojodu Berger, but one of the stranded customers who spoke with The Nigerianwatch said there was no over-the-counter payment at the banking hall. Also, as of the time of filing this report, the bank's Isheri Road branch had no cash and the ATMs were not working.

Customers were permitted to enter Union Bank on the same street, but only a maximum of N3000 could be withdrawn through the over-the-counter payment system.

When The Nigerianwatch visited, the First Bank opposite the Union Bank was closed, but customers were seen using the ATMs for transactions.

The United Bank for Africa, located on Isheri Road, opposite Olaipupo Oduwole, was established but did not pay its customers. All of the lending bank's ATMs were inoperable.

When The Nigerianwatch visited at 3:30 p.m., Stanbic IBTC Bank, Isheri Road, Ojodu Berger, was closed. Meanwhile, security personnel informed our correspondent that the bank had previously been operational.

Nigerianwatch also noted that days after the CBN directed commercial banks to begin paying a maximum of N20,000 new notes to customers over-the-counter, some commercial banks appeared to be short on cash.

On Tuesday, The Nigerianwatch visited some banks along the Ikotun, Akowonjo, and Egbeda axis of Lagos and discovered that some of the banks still accepting the new currency only paid a maximum of N2000.

It was also discovered that a Fidelity Bank on Egbeda road was only paying N2000 over-the-counter at the time of filing this report.

Our correspondent also noticed that the bank's Automated Teller Machine was not dispensing cash.

When our correspondent queried the bank on why they were paying only N2000 OTC, one of the bank staff who doesn't want her name on prints said, "There is no money to pay, we paid N5000 yesterday (Monday) because we had money. We are paying this N2000 OTC because the money has run out. We will pay more if we have more money," she stated.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank on Akowonjo Road was observed paying only N2000 OTC.

"We have stopped paying, there is no money anywhere, we paid earlier today but we can't pay because we don't have money again," a Polaris Bank employee said. We've even stopped paying OTC payments."

However, at the time of writing, most banks along the Ikotun axis were not paying.

Leave A Comment


Subscribe to our newsletter to stay.

Sponsor Ad