Since Miriam Olusanya assumed the contentious position of Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd (GTBank Ltd) in July 2021, the once-dominant bank has continued to spiral into crises and financial losses, losing customers and shareholders in the process.
It is rather frustrating that despite the naira shortage problem, the bank has continued to put Nigerians who trusted them with their money through subpar services and fraud through further problems.
It is important to highlight that GTBank has enjoyed patronage not only due to its historically respectable numbers, but also due to its outstanding service orientation and purposeful specialized market positioning. As a result, GTBank Plc had consistently shown that it was better than its competitors in the banking sector. The bank has previously maintained its position as the banking stock with the highest valuation.
For instance, GTBank’s shares increased by 21.06 percent from N29.20 per share on January 2, 2020, to N35.35 per share on November 20, 2020, despite the market’s persistent volatility. When compared to N34.657 billion in 2008, its profit before tax increased by 587.636% to N234.095 billion by 2020. The entire asset increased by 437.174% from N920.493 billion in 2008 to N4.944 trillion in 2020 at the same time, or in parallel. Moreover, its net interest income increased by 503.999% during the course of the same 12-year period, from N50.311 billion in 2008 to N253.668 billion in 2020.
Several businesses attempted to replicate their operations after GTBank as a result of its successes. Its compact nature seemed to have borne fruit. Some people think that the bank’s managerial approach even caused jealousy among its competitors. Every time the banks were compared, the reasoning tended to favor GTBank more.
Over time, this genuinely mystified the company’s operations and brand identity. As a result, leading business schools including Harvard Business School and Cranfield Management School conducted extensive research on the potency and distinctiveness of the GTBank brand.
The bank worked relentlessly to set the bar for other financial institutions in Nigeria starting in the early 1990s in terms of service quality, product functionality, and superior customer care.
Ironically, it was learnt from a number of publications that all these things have altered about the GTBank brand since Miriam Olusanya assumed the position of the bank’s CEO. The story has since turned nasty, sour, irritating, and nose-diving.
Olusanya’s claimed 23 years of banking experience have, however, been called into question due to the bank’s deteriorating financial situation, confirming the concerns of shareholders and the business community, who had expressed concern over the forceful installation and appointment of Olusanya by Segun Agbaje, the bank’s most recent CEO and the current group chief executive officer of GTBank’s parent company, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCo).
The decision by Agbaje to select Olusanya over the array of more qualified hands in the bank has been criticized by shareholders. Olusanya has less administrative experience and expertise. They had also raised concern about Miriam’s ability to run a large organization like GTBank while dealing with a failing marriage.
Recall how a boardroom crisis broke out at GTBank after Segun Agbaje fired three capable executive directors and six general managers as part of a reorganization plan to make room for his nominee, Olusanya. Agbaje is alleged to have supported Olusanya, who is thought to be a close friend of his, above the other bank directors who were the most qualified.
Olusanya, who was then the head of the bank’s Wholesale Banking Division, had been informed by reliable sources and shareholders that she lacked the necessary experience and technical expertise to manage the institution.
Olusanya was reportedly older than the three executive directors and general managers who were compelled to retire by the Agbaje.
Yet in the year and eight months that Olusanya has been in charge, the bank has begun to feel the pressure from investors and industry observers. This is due to the bank’s ongoing inability to recover from crises, which have cost billions of naira while driving away consumers due to subpar services.
According to insiders, the GTCO board is starting to lose faith in Olusanya’s leadership and ability as a result of her failure to improve the bank’s fortunes.
The problems at GTBank began as soon as Olusanya assumed control in July 2021. For the third quarter of 2021 (months after Olusanya took leadership), the bank reported a profit before tax of N151.91 billion, a 9.23% decrease from N167.35 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
According to GTCo, their revenue fell by 3.46 percent to N214.77 billion in Q3 2021 from N222.47 billion in the same period of 2020.
Its reported unaudited financial results for the third quarter of 2021 revealed that its earnings per share decreased as well, from N5.02 to N4.54.
Several bank depositors have started emptying their accounts.
The bank’s once-active digital platforms are now somewhat lifeless.
The bank’s “GTWorld” internet banking app and its “*737# Smart Code” Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) banking platform aren’t exactly shining stars, since users continue to have issues using the services. It has been frustrating for the bank’s clients.
Some shareholders of the bank who spoke to BUSINESS LIVE on the condition of anonymity, however, blamed Segun Agbaje for the bank’s woes for appointing Olusanya. They called on the board to sack Olusanya immediately and bring in a more competent hand to save the bank from imminent collapse.
Oyinade Adegite, GTBank’s head of Corporate Communications did not respond to our inquiries as at press time.
Several angry bank customers have resorted to Twitter to bemoan the terrible burden GTBank has placed upon them.