|Dodou Nyang frowned at the GGCI decision|
At its 2011 Annual Business Awards and Gala Dinner held on 1 June this year at the Coco Ocean Resort and Spa to recognize and award economic operators for their remarkable performance in business, the GCCI crowned Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia Limited as the Bank of the Year for 2011, from the category of competitors including Ecobank and Trust Bank Gambia Limited.
But Mr Nyang of Trust Bank feels the award should have been given to his bank because Trust Bank “performed better than all the other banks in the country put together”.
Going by the criteria set by the GCCI to determine the Bank of the Year, the award should be given to a bank with a significant amount of investment in the production, development and employment of the economy; good customer service ratings; profitability year on year; cost/income ratio; good return on equity; return on asset; sound balance sheet size year on year; loans to agricultural investments; compliance with taxes and social security contributions; and corporate social responsibility towards agriculture.
These were the basis used to crown GTBank as Bank of the Year 2011, but Mr Nyang of Trust Bank, which has won the award five times, says whichever way one looks at the performance of commercial banks in the country, Trust Bank performed not only better than each bank, but also better than all the other twelve banks put together in any performance indicator.
To substantiate his argument, Mr Nyang said: “As regards balance sheet size, the total asset of Trust Bank in 2010 was D3.4 billion and we moved to D4.1 billion in 2011.
“So in terms of balance sheet size, Trust Bank’s total asset increased by D700 million from 2010 to 2011, and that sum is bigger than all the other banks’ level of increase put together.
“So, Trust Bank alone performed better than all in the industry put together.”
Mr Nyang also said Trust Bank paid a tax of D55 million in 2011, “which is the tax of all the other banks in The Gambia put together”.
Trust Bank is still the highest employer by far in the banking industry, the TBL marketing manager asserts, saying: “We have about 310 people, which is the biggest in the banking industry.”
“Besides, Trust Bank has the widest branch network in The Gambia,” he also pointed out, saying there is no town or city in the country where a bank can be found that does not have a branch of Trust Bank.
In 2011 Trust Bank introduced five more ATMs (automated teller machine) than their nearest competitor, Standard Chartered Bank.
“What I am trying to say is that if you look at the banks and their performance - every indicator you want to look at - Trust Bank performed not only better than another bank but better than all the other banks in the country put together,” Mr Nyang said.
He also said that in terms of corporate social responsibility, Trust Bank gives back to the community “more than all the other banks” put together.
“Whichever way you look at it, Trust Bank always takes first and if anyone wants to challenge that, let them come and talk to me. This is something I am not scared of saying in front of any journalist; in fact I am not scared of saying it in front of the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia,” Mr Nyang remarked.
He however admitted that GTBank and /or other banks might surpass Trust Bank in turnaround time in dealing with customers’ financial transactions within their banking halls, which is due to “the huge number of customers attracted to his bank” because of its unique and better products and services to them.
For instance, he cited, when the Gambia government in November last year issued a directive that all civil servants must have a salary account otherwise they will not be paid, the vast majority of them went to Trust Bank, even though they had to make do with long queues and long hours to receive the services and products of the bank.
“This is because what we do for them no other bank does,” Mr Nyang said.
He reiterated that at Trust Bank, if someone’s salary is paid into his or her account, after three months, the person would be able to access a loan or an overdraft to meet their pressing needs.
“And everyday you want an overdraft after getting a loan, you don’t need to complete an application form; you just need to take your cheque, knock on the manager’s door, sit with him, write your cheque, tell him/her what you want, he/she looks into the system and gives you the answer in that sitting; the whole process can be done very fast, which is not the case with many other banks.”
Trust Bank is made up of Gambian staff who have an in-depth understanding of the Gambian people so the bank could create products for them that no other bank in the country can replicate, Mr Nyang said.
“So how can another bank be awarded over such a bank?” the TBL marketing manager queries.