Bankers in the Banking Hall
Yep. They done gone 'n done it.

With the rage that is 419 and its accompanying intractable junk mail usually sent under the guise of Interswitch®, and the shocking behaviour and absolute lack of respect the Nigerian banking industry has meted to the Nigerian people as discovered in the last couple of months, you would think that the professionals in the industry would be more careful to dot their i's and cross their t's, especially as far as circumspect behaviour goes.

I'm willing to bet that 98% of Nigerians running accounts of whichever specialised, branded or promised-to-make-you-think-they're-thinking-of-you-but-actually-creating-new-ways-to-double-COT-and rip-you-off-for-making-a-living packages; they deal with their fingers crossed and fervently check their account balances expecting some frustrating fraudulent event to strike. And I do wish I could say, they - pardon - we have all had our expectations and fears dashed. But alas!

Just the other day, a customer of Oceanic Bank received an SMS alerting him to the payment of his June salary only to discover that his pay was lodged in someone else's First Bank account. Banking error. Apologies. Will soon be cleared up. You'd think!

Not so. The following month, same thing happened. And on the receiving end, the crook (for that he surely must be) was drawing out all the sudden awoof money he'd come upon with no idea of its source. Or hadn't he? Oh, sorry. I understand from someone's twittering that he was expecting it from one of these boju-boju MTN SMS one keeps getting. That or, FG decided to cut him in on the National Cake, his lucky day hey?
Hm. A rat. Dead, seven days old. Do you not smell it, too?

See, it's one thing when you watch politicians and men (and women) in positions of leadership and influence absolutely and shamelessly making arses of themselves and calling ruinous prayers upon themselves from us masses. I've said quite a few m'self. But, it is unbearably unnerving when the private sector, betray and scorn the basic trust the public has in it. The thought that 419 scams are inside jobs is disturbing, gravely demoralising. You consider the information they badger customers into turning over in order to open an account only to turn around and carry out identity theft and steal from these same customers!

It has been argued that there are only two institutions, Stanbic IBTC and some other, that practice true banking in Naija and not just trading like market women. Alloy-wheeling, amana-chilling market women albeit. The rest merely terrorise their employees into bringing in cash ( a.k.a "meeting target") and then use same funds to establish businesses (see telecoms services), steal the Small Man's livelihood (see sales of recharge cards) and - I shake my head at this one - "dash" money to these "big boys and their madams, and pikins" who in turn oppress earlier referred to Small Man. Meanwhile the SME initiative is failing.

But wetin pain me pass? What belligerent straw finally broke the camel's back? I waka go Diamond Bank to draw small kish. Na so dem begin de toast me. Well, I acknowledge the compliment as I'm about that age where market value don de plateau. But imagine my shock when three weeks later, I got a call from the paying Teller going all Bond on me that I've got something he's certain he wants. Shuu! Guy went through my account details to fish out my phone number. Na so?

Teris. October 13, 2009

I bet that 98% of Nigerians ... deal with their fingers crossed and fervently check their account balances expecting some frustrating fraudulent event to strike. Alas! >>>
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