Monday, August 24, 2009

Trials and Tribulations of Banking with SG-SSB

Thanks Emmanuel, for sharing your nightmare. It is indeed sad that your valuable time was wasted in that manner. The bank wasted their valuable time as well and this takes a toll on the nation's productivity. Hopefully, change will come as we make our voices heard.

In a style reminiscent of my ATM frenzy in May, where I spent hours looking for a working ATM, I spent the better part of the afternoon trying—yet again—to get money out – this time not just from the ATM, but also from the banking hall itself!
I save with SG-SSB, and wanted to get some money from there—only to be caught in some serious and heavy traffic around the so-called "Circle" road that leads up to BusyInternet for around forty minutes(!). Not to speak of the myriad of shortcuts that only led to…more traffic:-( When you start dosing in traffic and that heat emanating around the capital between 1 and 2 pm, then you know you’ve been in traffic for more time than necessary. It’s a good thing I had my sunglasses to hide behind my dosing;-)

Seriously, though, I cannot for the life of me understand why I had to chase all the SG-SSB banks in the ‘hood. I went to my own branch—only to be told that I couldn’t even withdraw money from my account because there was a memo on it about ATM transactions from…another branch! When I went to that other branch (Accra Main), which happens to be that of the picture I took, I spent a good thirty minutes shuttling between looking for the lady who wrote the memo, and the be-spectacled and pin-stripe-suit-clad manager (a very easygoing middle-aged man who was very affable) of the branch who broke between twi and very good English [he spoke twi with most of his bank staff!] who elucidated the whole mystery for me.

The explanation pissed me off no-end: what had spawned the memo, which had by way of condition "no withdrawal" of sorts, was something that could have taken a phone call to fix: at the time that the bank had withdrawn charges (15,000 GH Cedis [by July 2007, it will be 1.5 [new] GH Cedis] for the use of the ATM card, I had insufficient money in the bank. Very soon afterwards, I got some money in.
The problem, then, was a non-starter. All the bank had to do was to simply debit my account with the appropriate charges! As a result of this, it cost me a good three hours roaming round that part of the capital, and incurring a hefty sum of 190,000 Ghanaian cedis, which is around €17 for a good three hours.
That the taxi-driver had seen me going from bank to bank…to bank did not help me in shielding me from what I still consider to be an exorbitant sum. At least, I should have been charged 150,000 cedis maximum. He was complaining, looking all-pensive about that initial sum, saying he will be "hot", etc, so I was compelled to give him an extra 40,000—very much to my chagrin.

Long and short: remind me to remind you to (a) have sufficient money in the savings account next time, and (b) maybe, re-consider saving with this bank.If that sounds cruel, well, just to add that I liked the manner in which the manager had a walk-in policy; that was very encouraging. You don’t get that at my main bank of ECOBANK.

E.K Bensah II


  1. hmmm... it makes wanting to come back home sound so frustrating! By the way, thanks so much for stopping by my blog!:)

  2. It does get frustrating but we are going to get our act together and change will come. Thanks for coming by too.