*A typical GT Bank branch in Nigeria
Following the nationwide address of President Muhammadu Buhari, which emphasized the need to gradually ease the lockdown order, which began as a way of containing the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as from Monday May 4, 2020, banks in the country have started sensitizing their customers on the proposed resumption.
One of such communication, which was sighted by our Correspondent came from the Guaranty Trust Bank otherwise known as GT Bank for short. In the communication, which we understand was sent to GT Bank customers through email amongst other electronic platforms detailed what the bank expects from customers upon resumption.
Except from the banks reads, “Dear Valued Customer, we hope that you and your loved ones are taking all the necessary precautions to stay safe and well during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We would also like to thank you very much for your understanding and patience during the period of skeletal banking operations. For us, the COVID-19 Pandemic is first and foremost a humanitarian challenge, so our primary focus is to safeguard lives. As we go into the phased easing of lockdown protocols, we need to work with you to make our return to work safe.
One of the major places we have to work together to keep everyone safe is in our branches, some of which will reopen from May 4, 2020. We have put together some key areas of collaboration which, with your active participation, will enable us to greatly mitigate a potential spread of the Coronavirus. Please see below the key areas of collaboration:
- Personal Protection
The most effective way to curb the spread of the Coronavirus is by protecting ourselves at all times. That is why it is absolutely imperative that we work together to ensure adequate personal protection when our banking halls reopen. On our part, we will provide hand sanitizers, carry out individual temperature checks and ensure that there is adequate spacing between people. On your part, kindly ensure that you have your face mask on and also make use of the hand sanitisers at the entrance of all our branches.
- Physical Distancing
Physically keeping away from others, for now, goes a long away in neutralising the ability of the Coronavirus to spread. Hence, we also have to work together in this area to ensure that we reduce physical contact to the barest minimum when you visit our branches. On our part, we are taking steps to ensure transactions at the banking halls are conducted at a safe distance from one another. On your part, we would strongly encourage you to cooperate with our Security Personnel at our branches in maintaining order at our branches.
- Cash Handling
Studies suggest that the Coronavirus can survive on surfaces and physical materials, such as paper for several hours. Hence it is very important that we work together to prevent the spread of the virus through cash. On our part, we will pay extra diligence to cash handling and would only give out cash that has been adequately processed. On your part, please bear with us as cash deposits over a certain amount in the banking halls will take 48 hours, in order to allow our staff to take all necessary precautions in the processing of the cash. You can also take advantage of our cash deposit ATMs, which will continue to allow you to complete your deposits instantly.
- Alternating Branch Opening:
As we recover from this pandemic, it is critical to have a Plan B, in the event that something goes wrong. That is why we have segmented our branches into sets, so that whilst we all make use of one set of branches, we could quickly switch to another set if we have to shut down a branch due to an outbreak. We will also be keeping you informed of which set of branches will be open on a weekly basis, so please look out for our communication via our corporate website, email and on social media.
- Managing Footfalls
The need for social distancing cannot be overemphasised in these times, and the authorities have strongly discouraged mass gatherings of any form. You can effectively help reduce the chances of such mass gatherings at our branches by making use of our e-channels and self-service platforms. On our part, we have made sure that our digital banking platforms are running optimally so that you can continue to access our financial services seamlessly anywhere, anytime using Internet Banking, GTWorld, the GTBank Mobile App and our 737 USSD Service. This is an evolving situation, and as such, we will provide you with regular updates on what we are doing to keep you safe. Ultimately, our hope as your bank is to emerge from this pandemic with all our customers healthy. Working together with you, we strongly believe that we will achieve this.