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Published On: Mon, Aug 21st, 2017

Unity Bank: Still United, but where are the customers?

ENIOLA ILORI |

 

Quite a number of people forget that there is a bank called ‘Unity Bank Plc’. Indeed the bank these days is more renowned for its anonymity than for its commercial business. For those who are still aware that a bank called Unity Bank exists and may have sighted one or two branches, the question that might advertently bother their minds is what actually happens inside these gated buildings? Last week, Business Hallmark took a trip around Lagos and environs to find branches of the bank and ascertain the level of activity that go on inside its shuttered doors. The bank’s branches were found at Oba Akran and Allen Avenue, both in Ikeja Lagos and Mowe in Ogun. But your guess is as good as anybody’s that most of the branches gave fresh meaning to the term, ‘Ghost Town’ as banking halls were as empty as oysters without its pearl.

OBA AKRAN BRANCH
This branch is situated amongst the several banks that line Oba Akran Avenue in Ikeja, Lagos. It is an old tired looking building with a medium sized parking lot that can contain 10 cars on the average. The branch has a Security Personnel accompanied by a Mobile Police officer who mans the security post. On getting to the security entrance, we noticed that out of the two security doors just one was working and the other one was left locked and the officer in charge kept a chair in front of it to keep customers from using the faulty door.
The branch has a fair-sized banking hall, in which the environment was clean and tidy; it is conducive and surprisingly pleasant. There were three Tellers at the counter transacting business with a handful of customers queued up in front of them, there were also a number of customers that came in to make deposits.
There were a couple of customer care representatives at different angles sitting idly in search of something to do. The bank has a water dispenser filled with water but without disposable cups, perhaps they expected customers to drink water with cupped hands. The situation was, however, corrected later by the security man on duty. The branch toilet was located outside the banking hall and inside the security post, it was apparently designed for pigmies and terribly untidy with a leaky that gushed out like a fountain from the wash hand basin.

ALLEN AVENUE BRANCH
This branch is located along the Allen Avenue Ikeja, Lagos. It has a large parking space that takes up to 15 cars at a time. It has a single Security Personnel outside the banking hall at the security entrance. It has only one entrance door. It has no customer locker to keep things that can’t be taken into the banking hall, so customers have had to put down their belongings on a bare floor at an oblique angle as they walk into the branch afraid for the safety of the items left behind. Thankfully, the branch had an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) that was functional and dispensed crisp cash.
The banking hall is of a medium size and was well-lit, and generally clean. It had two neatly dressed Tellers at the counter attending to customers depositing cash and making withdrawals. There were four joint chairs for waiting customers at the left corner on entering the hall. There were three customer care representatives that were willing to attend to customers if they appeared (which was obviously not too often). The low patronage of the branch allowed for an undesired ‘holiday’ for these bank officers.
The branch had a water dispenser filled with water and stocked with disposable cups for both customers and staffers. It had two clean and well kept conveniences for Male and Female customers and employees.
MOWE BRANCH
This branch is located inside the Redemption camp along the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, Mowe car-park C, Ogun state. It has a medium size parking lot for customers and staffs going into the bank. It has one ATM which was out of service and wasn’t dispensing cash. This branch has friendly security personnel who were at the security entrance door. It has just one entrance door.
The banking hall is small, and has two Tellers at a small caged counter on the left on entering into the hall from the entrance door. If you didn’t ask or check well, you won’t know that they have any Tellers there at all, as it was dark and not clearly visible.
There were four customer care representatives on seat at different angles attending to a couple of customers on seats; the branch had no chairs for waiting customers. There were two toilets for both Male and Female which was somewhat clean but cluttered, it had no water dispenser for the use of customers who were thirsty and in need of rehydration.

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