Today’s bankers are lazy and unfriendly – Babalola

Today’s bankers are lazy and unfriendly – Babalola

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Sharing her personal life and experience as a former banker with The Point, 83-year-old former employee of First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Margaret Babalola, could not but glow in excitement and nostalgia.
Mrs. Babalola expressed her resentment for the new generation of bankers and their ways of operations, saying that the older generation of bankers were very accommodating, receptive, and customer friendly.
She said, “I am unhappy and upset about the current situation of things going on in the banking industry. During our days in the banking industry years back, we used to receive customers warmly and they accept us heartily. We loved them, because they are the key of the bank. And then occasionally, we go round their homes to visit them and know who they are. If you are not friendly with them, you can’t win them to your bank.”
Babalola reiterated that character is a major aspect in the profession, which is one of the reasons customers keep their money in the bank, rather than at home. She stressed that nowadays, young bankers lack motivation from their bosses or leaders, instead what they receive is pressure.
“Nowadays, bankers do not have anyone to motivate them. They have all become lazy. When you have no one to push you to become a better person, you remain the same,” she said.
Recalling her banking days and youthful life, the octogenarian said she loved her career, because it brings improvement to life, and makes you to understand what is called trading, noting that trading is very important in life, without which a country cannot grow.
She said that those activities were so important to them. She recalled, “We resumed at 8am and close at 2pm. At times, we had overtime, when there were extra works to do. We enjoyed doing it. But bankers of today don’t have such time. Instead, they spend their time on parties. Although, we don’t expect them to be like us, because life must change from time to time, but it is expected that they must make impact in their career and be remembered for a great legacy. But there is nothing like that now.”
Talking about how she felt after retirement, Babalola said she felt something important has left her life, which according to her was the communication she always had with her customers and counting of money.
According to her, “All these things have become character, because when you are at home, you mix with your family, but while in the bank, you mix with your customers. The difference is very clear – I love banking, keeping money for customers and when they come I give them advice. Sometimes, the customer may invite you for dinner at his house in order to be more familiar with them. And when we go, we don’t differentiate between a customer and his family. They are all the same and they love it.”
She said that marketing during their time was interesting and stress free, adding, “We did our marketing through advertising on media platforms, and when they read it on a newspaper, they come to our office. There were advertising officers who will put them through. We also do follow up with them too.”
Frowning at the new marketing approach, the octogenarian decried how some bank managers instruct female bankers to do everything possible in order to get customers and meet up with their mo n t h l y million naira targets. “ Any bank manager, who instructs or encourages female bankers to go into ‘marketing prostitution’ is indulging in a form of corruption. A banker should be in her position, representing herself in a way that will command respect from her clients or customers. Her speech and appearance matter to her customers, which will make them respect her views,” she added.
Commending the profession, Babalola said that it is a well-respected field, built with customer’s confidentiality of account details, which must not be disclosed to another party no matter the closeness existing between them.
Obviously, the octogenarian enjoyed her job and marriage, saying, “My marriage and career never for once clashed. There is nothing like career in your marriage life. You bear your husband’s name, not the bank’s. When we close at work, office is safe. We don’t bring office issues into the marriage.”
According to her, her husband, a retired military officer, supported her career in every way. She also talked about the challenges facing the marriages of some female bankers nowadays.
“The challenges young female bankers have in their marriages had nothing to do with their career. It all begins with the way they were brought up. They need to build a strong communication union as they cultivate the act of learning,” she added.
Adding that the fraudulent activities in today’s banking sector weren’t like that in her days, Mrs Babalola noted that they were then not authorised to borrow customer’s savings and any business conversation was done within the office and not in a private place.
Babalola also urged Nigerians to be patient with the present government. She said, “The Muhammadu Buhari administration is doing very well, but Nigerians like things done in a hurry. If only people would be patient enough to follow his works. They should also know that there are superior officers monitoring the President’s decisions and actions, so he cannot do wrong. We are the ones that should be focused and allow him do his job.”

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