7 Times Nigerian Banks Broke My Heart

All Nigerian banks are the same-

I (2017)

Pass me the handkerchief. Last week, Diamond Bank broke my heart. It is a big deal, so big that it prompts this blog. Firstly, Diamond Bank is a bank I love(d), it is the only bank I opened without anyone compelling me to. Straight from the secondary school, clueless and innocent, I walked into the banking hall of Diamond Bank and said ‘I want to open an account’. Second, Diamond Bank is the last belief I sold myself that the Nigerian Banking industry has hope.

So when Diamond Bank hit me, they hurt my love for them and my hope that Nigerian Banking industry is not over.

And Kingsley wept.

The Diamond assault hit me so much that it opened the old wound Nigerian banking industry inflicted on me. So I decided to count my banking bruises and name them one by one.

1, GT Bank

I opened GT Bank in 2014 because I wanted a Mastercard ATM card for online shopping. I was under the impression, rightly so, that Guaranty Trust Bank is the most digital-friendly bank and that they alone give MasterCard to saving accounts. Wow. I opened the account. Online.

Yes, I sat before my laptop and opened the account. Scanned my passport and uploaded. Scanned my signature and uploaded. Poom-poom, poom-poom. I got a text message containing my account number.

I didn’t fund the account until in 2016. What!!!

Don’t shout here, please. You have the right to remain silent for whatever you say here can be used against you the law court. I didn’t fund the account for nearly two years because I didn’t have money. Is it not money that has space that goes to the bank? Between 2014 and 2015, I was serving, jobless, unemployed, underemployed and self-employed (winks). When I worked, my salary finished before the 15th of the month.

GT Bank didn’t seem to bother. They kept sending me wishes on my birthday and during Christmas, Easter etc. During BVN registration, I linked up. No problem. That means they still regard me as their customer. If anyone called for people banking with GT to come out, I would have run up the stage. We are all customers, both those who have money and those without money in the bank. Equality before the bank.

Early 2016, GT Bank sent me a message that my account was unfunded. Reluctantly, from the little I had, I transferred something into my GT Bank. I didn’t get an alert. After few days I dropped by in the bank and they told me that my account was dormant. That where did I open the account? I said online. They said what town? I said Zaria. They said they will send an email to Zaria.

I didn’t understand. I opened an account online in Zaria. Does that mean I am a GT Bank Zaria branch customer? Can you see my account? I asked. Yes. Can you verify it is mine? Yes. You know for sure it is dormant? Yes. Why can’t you unlock it? Because you opened the account in Zaria.


I left, unsatisfied. A few days later, I returned. The Zaria emailed has not been responded to. I left. Another day, I returned. The email hasn’t been responded to. I said I cannot take this. Do something. They said I must open a fresh account with the driver’s license, voter’s card, NEPA bill etc. A fresh account! What about the money in the other account. The guy began to say something about Zaria.

I wept.

2, ECO Bank

I was broke, I had three thousand in my account, more than one week to the end of the month. I can manage. I went to the Eco Bank in the next door to withdraw 1K. As soon as I slot in the card, they seized it. I went in and they asked me to go to hell, nicely. I rushed to my bank, First Bank. They charged me 1,050 naira for a new one. My balance, 1,992 naira. Ahhh. I can only withdraw 1K with nearly ten days to payday!

I perished.

Read, also: Letter to the Girl Who Wants to Sell Virginity for 600K

3, UBA Bank

During my recession days, UBA was the bank I used for my salary which is not more than a stipend which finished before the 15th of every month. So every naira counted. But UBA refused to be helpful. I was running a zero account but UBA woke up one day and said my minimum balance was 1k. Period.

They don’t send me credit alerts. Only debit alerts. Sometimes, I would be broke, money would be paid into my account and I wouldn’t know. I would eat from mouth to hand when my money was wasting in the bank! Sometimes, I would borrow money, transport myself to the bank with the hope that my salary was in there, I would see nothing. Trekking things, on empty stomach!

Why not use an app? you ask. I downloaded the app but it wouldn’t work on my phone.

And from time to time, just to piss me off, they would deduct 50 naira stamp duty from my broke ass’s account usually when the account was like this 8,035. Minus 50 naira. Balance 7,985. Brutality!

Plus hidden charges. I would have 11,365 naira balance this week, next week it would be 10,987. Noooooooooooo!

Honestly, between UBA and my employers, I was screwed. The beautiful tag team beat me with my shinbone on my head. My friend, a fellow-victim once said he would rather keep his money inside asusu box than touch UBA Bank with gloves! And I say give that guy a medal!

4, First Bank

Didn’t open this bank, NYSC forced me to. They came to our CDS meeting hall and took our details and passports. As soon as I got my account number, complications set in.

One, the nearest bank (in Ikirun) refused to give us ATM cards, that we should go to the branch that opened the account. Inisa Branch, they said. Some people heard Ilesa. Chartered a bus, went to Ilesa and were told Inisa, idiots, Inisa not Ilesa. Ah ha! Waste of time, money and energy. But why can’t any branch give you an ATM card why, why, why?!

The First Bank ATM in Ikirun was usually congested but the network was horrible. Sometimes, you will transport yourself to town and ATM isn’t working. Sometimes, they will debit you and not pay you till you fill some damn form and wait 48 hours.

I forgave them.

Then First Bank learned a bad thing. They began to deduct hundred naira for ATM maintenance for the ATM card in my pocket! They did this for three or four consecutive months. I ran to twitter to quarrel with their handle. This amount is negligible but it was during my battle with UBA. When I got my salary on UBA, I would transfer all to First Bank which was saner. It was painful because every 100 they deducted reduced my withdrawal power by 1K. 7032 today, 6,932 after their maintenance charge.

I nearly had a cardiac arrest.

Late last year, they began to charge me 65 naira for every single withdrawal I made from another bank ATM. And First Bank ATMs are far away from my place/work. They care not. It wasn’t the hosting bank problem because this happened with me in at least three different third-party banks! I sent them an email in grammar complaining; they responded with grammar that I was mistaken. I went mad.

Then I got their app. They told me I couldn’t transfer more than 20k a month without a token. So if I needed to transfer 35K to you, I would have to transfer 20K tonight and the remaining 15K the next morning. What nonsense. I gave up on the app, then they sent me a message saying you can now send 500 thousand naira per day! Una father there!

5, Union Bank

I didn’t bank with this bank. My friend in my service year did. It was painful to me because I was the one who lent him money whenever his bank messed up. And they messed up a lot. Their ATM points in Osun State hardly worked. Most other bank ATMs rejected their cards. You have to withdraw over the counter. Woe unto you if you run out of money in the weekend! And even at the counter, sometimes they would tell you that their network was poor and your transaction couldn’t be processed.

And my guy would say, Guy, come borrow me money and I would give him and give until my money finished, then both of us would be at the mercy of Union Bank of Africa.

Read, also: Ten Signs You are Not Ready for Marriage

6, UBA (Again!)

Yes, again. This one happened in my 100 level days. My school fees. I paid, wrote my admission number on the teller and the fat fellow seated behind the counter like a toad expecting nonuplets,  typed someone else’s admission number. When he printed the payment details for me and I saw Juliet as the name, my heart stopped beating; the world stood still. For a second, I didn’t remember my name and my gender and my level. I was identity-less.

Slowly, like a cold snake up the spine, realisation hit me.

My name is not Juliet.

I am not a girl.

And I am not in 200 level.

That was when I began to shout.

7, Diamond Bank

Wipes tears. This one is still fresh in my mind. We have crossed the 1500-word mark. Talking about Diamond will gut another 1500 words. That will be another blog post entirely, plus I still love the bank and washing our dirty lines outside require redder eyes, the type that comes from another long pull from the bottle of ka-kai.

Now, here’s what I am going to do. I will walk to the Diamond Garden Avenue Branch and have a chat with the customer care. There is this fair, amazing girl in that section who pronounces my name with honey in her voice. I will tell her about my problem and we’ll go to Roban and talk about it. If the talk goes fine, she may come to my apartment and resolve the problem (if you don’t hear from me again, we have settled the case like family, amicably). Otherwise, world war three!

Note: Comment your experience with your bank. I told my colleague that all banks are the same and she said no, her bank is perfect. Please comment your bank’s woes. She’s wrong about her bank and I need you to help me prove it to her.

I am outta here.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

7 thoughts on “7 Times Nigerian Banks Broke My Heart

  1. meezuyeali

    You are very correct Kingsley. I can testify to that of Eco Bank when it was still Oceanic bank. I wanted to travel from Benin to Lagos that day and my transport fair was in the bank. I dressed up in beautiful blue Jean with a white T’shirt and cat walked to Oceanic bank and behold, they ceased my card. I went inside the bank and they told me they can’t open the ATM that day and the only option was to beg my sister for money to get to Lagos that day and I did.

    Few months later, I went back to Benin to pack my things as I got admission into ABU, Zaria. Then I walked like a big babe, University star and entered Oceanic bank. They checked for my card and couldn’t find it and told me I wasn’t telling the truth, that their ATM didn’t cease my card. One of the ladies with make up like a ghost guest was rude and said “next customer please”.

    Getting to school, they also frustrated me getting me to buy withdrawal’s note always in the name of their system had problem.

    To cut d long story short, I was stranded in Kaduna one day and I got to Oceanic, was asked to buy new slip that they had problems and I can’t use the old one. I tore the slip I filled initially, asked for my account balance and withdrew all I could and broke up with them.

    That not withstanding, they still send me messages as Eco bank but the fact remains that whether knor, royco, onga, madish, Mr. Chef or whatever seasoning it may be, all na Maggi.

    Good right up dear!



      This one that Mee took her time to write a mini-blog in the comment post, this one must have rattled a bone somewhere. How can one bank continually do this to a big universited babe like you, from Lagos to Kaduna to Zaria to Benin? How? Even if the bank has been collapsed into another one, or rebranded, how there they?
      Now, it is funny reading it and viewing it retrospectively, but it must have been one frustrating bounce down the hill. I don’t know when Nigerian banks will man up and do there job without putting our money, heartbeat and sanity in harm’s way. I don’t know. Perhaps when we hit millions we’ll stop caring about 50 naira deducted, perhaps. But for now when they hit us we cry. And cuss them.
      Thanks for sharing this blog/comment Mee


  2. Onyeka

    Save for Fidelity bank to the best of my knowledge. They don’t fix ur pocketed ATM 💳 compulsorily, in short, they don’t steal from you. There’s nothing pearl in Diamond; they’ll steal ur joy in the 11th hour, First Bank are second to none when it comes to extortion, am sure the NPF banks with them. They can send you a textbook of msgs for every transaction; successful or not, and charge you in good fate without squinting as though you ordered for it from Dubai. Woe betide you if you make use of their online App, Abulo, a terrible N105 will be deducted from ur account for every UNSUCCESSFUL transaction. But y?



      But why? he sighs as he concludes.
      ‘Diamond will steal your joy in the 11th hour’ lol. I will use this line when I sit with that customer care agent far from their bank. And did you say Nigerian Police bank with First Bank. I am dead!


  3. Austin Relly

    Hehehe… dis post is really funny bt so tru.. Back den in ma skul days way man dy always dy broke steady…. Had two accounts, Access Bank and Uba bank…. All d while, UBA had bin frustrating mi over and over… Den I stopped using d account cos I was fed up wit dia evilz, withdrew all I had der….

    Den my roommate needed to buy post ume form for hz lady friend urgently cos d sales was ending d next day, bt he needed a uba account to riciv d money…. so i gave him mine..
    The lady sent d money, 2,500naira, I and ma roommate strolled to d bank to get d money over d counter, den dy hit mi wit d knockout punch, da ma account was dormant…

    Ewoooooooo !!!

    da d last time I used d account was over 6mths and d account went dormant… Den dy said dey will withhold 500naira as d minimum balance den activate d account again… Mi wey broke da period, wher I wan see 5h add to d 2k make d nigga use go buy d form… Ma nigga was also broke sef… lols.

    Den he called d girl again, pleaded she sends anoda 5h… After much anger and argument btw him and d girl… she agreed to send it…. Ma roommate left cos he had lecture, I was somwhr around d bank reading so I waited for d alert….

    BoooooM !!!

    Alert received… 5000naira

    hmmmmm, did she send 5k cos ma guy was broke to epp hz life or did d bank made a mistake !!
    I pondered for just a second I guess.. well, bfor further questioning and pondering… I went straight to d bank den withdrew d 5k.

    After much much… ma guy called den we discoverd she actually sent 5h not 5k…


    Well, I don komot d money, payback for all d evils dey’v ever done to mi… Haven’t used d bank up till today. . not even planning to. Dint even connect ma bvn…. Dia papa

    And I av no regrets..

    I just opened a diamond bank account last two weeks or so and der was lil of dia yeye act for d first one week, If dem try rubbish… I will jejely move all my money straight to ma Fidelity or Access bank, at least av bin wit dem for som years nw and dey ar doing me well.



      Now, I have seen one person who actually took aa pound of flesh of the banks. At the expense of a heavily-pressured bank teller, I must add. The bank in itself never loses. But I notice this is the second person who is saying something kind about Fidelity Bank. Perhaps they are good, but I refuse to take that as the gospel truth. Someone somewhere is probably cussing them, and if this post is read enough, someone might come out to puncture their balloon. I may be the second person to have a pound of flesh story to tell about the banks if the Diamond date… hello, can you hear me?… hello… hel… poor network.
      Thanks for sharing your bank story.


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