16TH APRIL, 2019.
GROUP CEO & THE BOARD CHAIRMAN,
GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC & GAMBIA GTBANK (GAMBIA)LTD
635 AKIN ADESOLA STREET 56, KAIRABA AVENUE,
VICTORIA ISLAND – LAGOS, NIGERIA. FAJARA, THE GAMBIA.
RE: LETTER OF DISCONTENT / STAFF CONCERNS.
It’s with profound regret and discontent for writing this letter to you. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your tireless efforts in shaping the bank into a modern financial institution that sets the pace and standards for others to follow in the banking world. We wish to thank the Board chairman and his able team for giving us a salary increment of 25% and 15% quarterly appraisal bonus in the last Board meeting that was held in March 2019 in the bank`s Board room.We the staff of Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Limited are a team committed and poised to deliver our utmost in customer service, we create role models for society whilst adding value to all stakeholders. We are committed to deliver positive results as evident by our current and past financial performance in the Gambia banking industry.
Our concerns range from numerous issues that we want to bring to the attention of the Chairman of Board of Directors of the bank, Directors and The Group CEO Mr. Segun Agbaje. The concerns we are faced with are as follows:
1.0: The 25% and 15% increment that was approved by the Board of Directors last March has been twisted by the Managing Director Mr. Adesina Adebesin to a matrix of 10% salary increment across board and 15% on a quarterly appraisal reward base system. The increment was to take effect in March 2019 instead of April, 2019 as approved by the board.
1.1: Our Staff Medical Insurance Scheme that was supposed to take effect 1st January 2019 is still blocked by the MD after our Board of Directors has given a go ahead for it to be implemented in our Strategic Management session in 4th Quarter of 2018.
1.2: Lack of a gratuity policy for long serving senior management staff who want to voluntarily step down / retire or resign their position in a honourable manner
1:3:Dissolving the GTBank Gambia Management team, whilst he runs an autocratic regime of one man show. The management have no say in key decision-making processes in the bank now. He is not consultative and does not create room for divergent view on key matters during meetings.
1:4: Discontinuation of appraisal bonus for staff that have an A* or A rating but are not promoted during our annual staff appraisal promotion from last year. During last year`s appraisal the MD made it clear that he will not promote more than 15 staff out of a work
force of 320 staff which we accepted in good fate, but can no more accept it again, because you have large number of deserving staff that have not being promoted for over 3 years which is a career derailing action for young people trying to build a career in GTBank.
1:5: He has no regard for staff, he does not greet people, he marginalises the middle and low-level staff and also exhibits high level of arrogance to staff during meetings. He talks the whole meeting period without allowing comments from the concerned business managers. He frequently rants and shorts at people with genuine comments that do not match his own version on any key issue in the bank and sometimes with insults.
1:6: He has a close door policy where access to his office by staff is very limited or even unavailable and is difficult for you to have an appointment with him for customers to meet him for business meetings.Mr. Adesina Adebesin is a dictator. Therefore, he is not a suitable leader for an international banking group like Guaranty Trust Bank.
1:7 : We wish to also bring to the notice of the Board that the ailing health of the Chief of Protocol Mr. Gabriel Gomez who is currently sick and his salary has been discontinued by the Managing Director since November 2018. This gentleman has worked for the Bank for over 10 years and now he is in need of financial support to take care of his medical and other family bills the bank abandoned him. We believe this a wicked and unremorseful action by the MD for treating a long credible serving staff in this manner.
1.8: The Bank Drivers and Technician are no more part of the annual promotions because the highest level for Drivers is Driver 2, which means they cannot even access better loan facilities and other benefits. We have drivers and Technicians that have been with the bank since 2002 and they have been neglected.
We the staff of Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Ltd believe we cannot work under a leader who does not care about our welfare, wellbeing, and does not present our interest. We have endured a lot of hardship, dissatisfactions and de-motivation under the leadership of Adesina Adebesin since his reign started in February 2018. It could be recalled in 2017, over 100 contract staff of Xsell recruitment agency requested for some little benefits like telephone allowance and better pay terms with the CEO of Xsell because they believe that their pay package was not good but the then Managing Director did not handle the matter well which lead being Virtual and to a mass poaching of all those staff by Skye Bank on a permanent contract. The Contract staff sit-down strike causes very negation publicity for the bank.
Concerning the issue of the approved 25% and 15% pay rise last March for all staff across board, the Managing Director himself made this announcement that the Board of Directors of the bank have approved a pay rise of 25% and 15% quarterly bonus effective April 2019 in a deposit mobilization meeting held at the bank`s presentation room. Subsequently, during our last BPR presentation held on 9th April, 2019 in the presentation room, the head of Human Resources did a presentation on the 25% pay rise and how the Managing Director told her the matrix involved in the allocation of the salary increment will work as shown below.
RangeScore % of Bonus
95 and above A* 100%
85% – 94% A 80%
75% – 84% B+ 60%
65% – 74% B 50%
55% – 64% C 0 %
The salary increment framework as mentioned earlier under 1:0 that 10% will be the salary increase instead of 25% whilst the other 15% is to be allocated on a performance basis after quarterly appraisals are conducted. We the staff were disappointed, disgruntled, betrayal, and feel unfairly treated by a wicked leader who wants to be glorified alone for squeezing cost at the expense of the staff and hence reporting bigger profits to shareholders after killing the fabric of the bank, its human resources. Is certain that he will not even achieve great results in terms of profitability and balance sheet growth with a de-motivated and disgruntled work force that have lost trust and confidence in their leader. He also said loud and clear in an arrogant tune that the head of HR was just doing you a favour explaining how the matrix works. “It is cast in iron and there is nothing anyone can do”.
Moreover, this matrix is a bias matrix in a sense, because it will always downgrade the staff performance since it measures the staff by Unit performance first, then the Group performance and the Bank wide performance as a whole. So, there is no way that a staff can get the full 15% reward for excellent performance if you do the math very well, because if the others don`t perform well its will down grade your score to even C.
The reason for our rejection of this model (10% and 15%) ,is that, it encourages an unfairness and bias reward system that will create internal staff conflicts, anger and disgruntlement and can even lead to massive fraudulent activities by bank personnel because of discontent. We also believe that the MD has an agenda against some set of people and can use this model to maltreat and deprive good deserving staff what is due to them as a reward for their service.
On the issue of our medical insurance scheme. We are still waiting to get a medical insurance scheme that addresses our medical needs. This is the forth month of the year and the Managing Director is still silent with the issue because the monetized refund system of medical bills favours his cost management strategy. From sources it is revealed that he will save an extra Dalasi 3 Million every year if he does not sign on the insurance medical scheme from an Insurance Company. This medical insurance scheme already has the endorsement of our Board members from the last staff meeting we had, where we discussed on key issues as a way forward for our business to grow, which was a welcomed move that the general force.
In the quest of maintaining organisational loyalty the staff need to be well motivated and we are of the believe that financial reward is not the only motivation for us but a very conducive and friendly work environment where the staff can see themselves in the leader as a mirror because the leaderships cares for them. Unfortunately, we did not see such great qualities of a charismatic leader like inspirer, motivator, transformer, empathetic, open, tolerant, respectful, fair, equitable, innovator, helpful, defender, saviour in Adesina Adebesin.
Sometime last year he unilaterally decided to discontinue payment of annual appraisal bonus to staff that were not promoted but scored an A* or A rating in the promotion appraisal. This issue has not gone well with the staff, because since the inception of the bank in March 2002 appraisal bonus is paid annually. This is sad, because our leader has failed woefully in managing the expectations and emotional intelligence of his staff force.
He deployed a strategy of dissolving the traditional forth nightly management meeting were the management team together with the MD can discuss key strategic decisions or key issues that will advance the bank to higher levels in financial services delivery. Opinions of staff are meaningless. He is always right.
The management have fought tirelessly to have a gratuity policy or plan for the senior people who want to voluntarily retire from the service of the bank at all levels from r to Executive Director. This plan is a dynamic plan that gives opportunity to the middle level staff to rise up to the top and take new challenges, but without this plan many senior management staff will be stuck in the bank till posterity and will not be comfortable leaving because they do not have a good savings after working for GTBank for over 15 – 20 years.
Other matters include disrespect and disregard for staff. The staff feel alienated and disenfranchised because we do not see ourselves as being part of banking group that is a force to be reckoned with in the industry. The lack of concern of staff motivation has led to zero staff loyalty to Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Ltd. This is evident by the high staff attrition rate of GTBank Gambia Ltd, within a period of 2 years over 80 staff left the bank to other banks like Ecobank, Skye Bank, Standard Chartered and FIBank. These staff movement includes from the level of Deputy General Manager, Assistant General Managers and other middle management staff and low-level staff as well. Until today we have not seen any move by the Managing Director to change this horrible trend, considering the public perception on us a premier banking group.
The high staff attrition especially to Ecobank has given them a very strong competitive edge over us. Since the inception of Ecobank in 2007, the bank still uses GTBank as a “staff shopping centre“. This has contributed to the great successes of Ecobank to become the leading bank in The Gambia for the past two years.
In conclusion, we the Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Ltd Staff group want to respectfully inform that Board and Group CEO that;
- We cannot accept the 25% increment in piece meal as per the Managing Director’s wish but the whole 25% as an increment on our current pay to all staff.
- Introduce a gratuity policy for long serving senior management staff who want to voluntarily step down / retire or resign their position in a honourable manner
- Our Staff Medical Insurance Scheme to take effect immediately etc
Currently, all permanent and contract staff are writing to request for our dues to be paid in full and our plight be considered by our superiors. We have gathered over 250 staff signatures on this matter for a no work and no attending customers on or before the end of April 25th, 2019, if our demands and this unfair treatment by the current Managing Director is not resolved. We have the signatures of all the concerned staff for your perusal.
We have written this letter to express our concerns and discontent on the manner in which Adesina Adebesin is governing us which is not in line with modern Corporate Governance and strategic leadership practices. We believe such leadership style has no place in the Guaranty Trust Bank Orange rules and ethics. We want to make it categorically clear that we have no hidden agenda whatsoever to put the bank at ransom. Hence, we by write to give enough notice for our demands to be critically looked into by the Board and Group CEO of GTBank Plc.
We believe, GTBank Gambia Ltd belongs to Gambians and the staff have worked so hard to place the bank on the higher height in the Gambia banking industry.We don`t deserve such ill treatment from our own leader. In the same vein, we have consulted the relevant Authorities such as the Central Bank, Ministry of Finance and the Judiciary for any possible action by the MD to use his power to victimise individual staff or group of staff for expressing their rights and discontent on some of his unfair and bias moves. We are of the believe that Adesina Adebesin has lost the trust and confident of his people and we cannot recognise him as our leader, because he is not a leader in our generation.
We are united as a staff force under the banner of creating positive change for GTBank Gambia Staff and also most importantly work towards maximising stakeholders.
We are open for dialogue to address this discontent which could lead to a crisis if not well managed by the Board of Directors. However, if this is not address amicably, we might be force to send copies to the below Authorities and it might also go viral from the look of things.
Please accept our highest consideration and utmost loyalty to the organisation.
GTBank Gambia Ltd Staff Group
Cc: Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Ltd Management Team & Staff.
For future to be copied to the following;
Secretary General and Head of Civil Service.
Minister of Finance.
Governor Central Bank of The Gambia.
Director, Department of Labour.
Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Ltd Management Team & Staff.