#BanktoAvoid: The issues you raised


Dear Banks,

Yesterday in this post we highlighted some of the issues and challenges bank customers face at various top banks in Kenya and the post generated a discussion on Twitter under the hashtag #BankToAvoid. To help you easily identify the complains Kenyans have with your specific bank, I have gone through each tweet tagged with hashtag #BankToAvoid and classified the issues by bank and I present them to you in no particular order but as a matter of priority let me first mention the issues raised that are applicable across board:

As banks you have been accused of levying service fees in areas that are not clear. For instance Barclays Bank has been accused of levying deposit handling fees. Other banks have hidden charges only noticeable at the scrutiny of Bank Statements. Your interest rates are not fair. I remember you people were accused of colluding with MPs to shoot down the bill that sought to reduce the gap in interest rates on deposits and loans. It is outright robbery for banks to offer only 2% interest rate on deposits yet they collect a whooping 20 or so percent on loans.

Then there is the issue of banks issuing fake notes via the ATMs. I would say that it is the authorities and the public sleeping on their job. If anyone withdrew fake money from an ATM, that person ought to have reported the Bank and the ATM for the authorities to arrest the culpable.

Let me repeat, social media is key to the modern day urban youth. As a matter of fact friends have told me that a number of the elderly and those in the rural areas with Internet enabled phones are joining social media at a stable rate. But the laxity of banks to adopt social media for their customer care services is worrying. You don’t need to go far to learn a trick or two on utilizing social media for customer care services; just call Safaricom or Kenya Power who have mastered the art of serving customers on social media.

So let’s now talk to individual banks that were mentioned: NIC Bank You guys got mentioned once, kudos. The problem you need to sort is the experience E. Wangari Mwaura had when opening an account after she got her first job. You don’t seem to be keen on attending to the needs of those who have their first salaries. Did you guys know that Kenya has one of the first growing middle class in the continent? What that means is that most Kenyans are joining the work force as first income earners after a long period of economic drought that was occasioned by the KANU regime. Having a policy that is not friendly to first income earners means you are losing out to a vibrant market segment that you need to tap into.

 Equity Bank

You guys for three days running have been receiving the least positive vibes. It started by customers at your Nakuru Kenyatta Avenue branch complaining that three days ago you decided to cut down the number of tellers by half. Generally from the tweets that came in you need to work on the quality of your services and resolve the queuing problems. As I mentioned in this earlier post, just resolve the queuing problem by sensitizing your customers to adopt mobile banking and also implement EQMS.

I did not know about this about Equity Bank:

Then you need to clarify on this.

KCB Bank We did mention that your tellers are slow. After the post a friend called me to say that there was this time she was to take the NHIF policy. NHIF requires policy holders to make payments either at Co-op bank, KCB or National Bank. She did not have a lot of information on National Bank but reasoned that Co-op bank queues are always very long so she decided to opt for KCB. To her surprise it took over one hour to get service yet she found less than 10 customers in the queue. Worse is that she was two months pregnant at that time. Kudos though as you have since then implemented EQMS in some of your branches. However you are still not out of the hook. We did mention that your electronic system is the lowest and this has been noted but some tweeps:

 National Bank

You guys have also been mentioned, one as a bank just to avoid and as bank with poor systems. Long and slow queues is your tag.




Co-op Bank Thank you guys you had your Accounts Opening Manager Migori branch call me yesterday to sort out our account issues but you are not off the hook. Guys have issues not limited to arrogance by your customer care services and inability to process loans to the youth. On Startups, it seems others have similar experiences that my partner and I have had with you.



Facebook Comment: what about Co-op bank?? the officers are so arrogant you even wonder why you have to take you hard earned cash there…customer care is a nightmare..wako down!!!

CFC Stanbic I thought you guys would be off the hook as I have had nothing but positive praises about you. Coming to think of it, all the information I have about you guys are from friends who work for you. Here though are the tweets discrediting some of your services:

In the age where we address our concerns in social media you are yet to have online presence? Barclays Bank You too have been mentioned as a bank absent in social media and have been described as “bure kabisa”. I don’t have any love for you, just pull up your socks.



 K-Rep Bank You too are in the list of Banks to Avoid. This is what one of your customers had to say about you:


Standard Chartered BankYou guys hardly received any negative vibe. Your customers seem to be happy. I’m aware that you are in the forefront in pioneering tellerless banking in the country and you need to keep it up. I would only advice you to lower the terms associated with opening a corporate account. If it were not for the harsh requirements we could have opened our corporate account with you guys.

Other Banks that received positive vibes In the breath of mentioning banks that customers are happy with, Barclays was mentioned as a bank not to avoid. Well, I have my reservations based on my experience.


KCB also received some love.


Co-op bank too

Some praises for CFC Stanbic



And as advised by a friend on Facebook, “move to executive banks like Chase, I & M, and the like..the rest are full of hooligans..customer service is very important…”


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