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HomeBusinessFirst Bank, others cut business hours over high cost of diesel

First Bank, others cut business hours over high cost of diesel

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By Eniola Mayowa

As the cost of diesel rose sharply, some banks have reviewed the period customers could transact business with them in some of their branches across the country to reduce the cost of power supply.

For instance, in a letter to customers, First Bank of Nigeria Plc announced a review of its business hours across some of its branches from Monday, April 11, 2022

In the statement sent to customers by the bank over the weekend, the time review was staggered and subjected to the volume of operations across different branches and outlets of the financial institution.

“We have revised our banking hours across all our locations. The revised opening and closing hours will be effective from Monday, 11 April 2022.

“Our alternative and digital channels are available and accessible 24/7 anywhere and anytime to meet your banking needs,” the bank said in the communication.

However, First bank did not provide any reason for its action, which has slashed banking hours in some branches to 8 am to 1 pm daily.

A visit to some of the branches and outlets of the bank on Monday by our correspondent revealed that while some branches on Ikorodu road elect to close by 3 pm, some others on Lagos Island and Ipaja told customers they will close by 2 pm in compliance with the directive from the Headquarters

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Many customers who were not aware of the new closing time were furious and find the latest action of the bank unacceptable to have their transactions plan disrupted as they were turned back at the bank branches.

A customer that came to make a withdrawal to settle a pending business transaction could not conceal his disappointment as he argued with the security at a branch of the bank on the Lagos mainland

It was also noted that service was extremely slow for those who were in the bank to do transfers with many customers insinuating that the bank deliberately slow down its operations as a means of reducing the number of customers being attended to.

At a particular branch on the Island where only one officer was tasked with the responsibility of attending to many customers, people were advised to visit other branches to have their transfer done despite the proximity to the new closing time for operations.

Our correspondent findings revealed that the review of the closing time is not unconnected with the high cost of doing business in Nigeria currently as the cost of operation has skyrocketed.

A source who wished to be anonymous explained that “the management of First Bank takes the painful decision to reduce the number of hours it made service available to its esteemed customers due to high-cost of diesel which is the alternative source of power for their operation.

“With the high cost of diesel now, it only makes sense to review our operation and the number of hours we do business. Most of our branches run on alternative power supply otherwise we will be failing in our service to our customers and the banking public hence the decision,” the source said.

A bank official said customers will get used to the new time till such a time “we are able to adjust again.”

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