Precisely five days after Gbenga Alade, Managing Director Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) said at the opening ceremony of its 13th branch at Lunsar that their intention is to be the “preferred option”; the bank yesterday took banking to Pujehun.
“GTB is not setting up a branch at Pujehun, rather it is setting up a Cash Centre that would address the banking needs of the district,” revealed GTB’s Executive Director, Segun Obasun.
In an interview with Awoko at the bank’s Executive Director’s Wilberforce Street Office on Monday, Segun Obasun explained that the bank had setup a Cash Centre at Socfin Agriculture Company.
The Agriculture Company is a member of the massive French group Bolloré. In March 2011 Socfin obtained a 50-year lease for 6,500 hectare of fertile land in Malen chiefdom, Pujehun district, south of Sierra Leone, where they intended to develop the land for oil palm and rubber plantations.
However, this region is “isolated,” said GTB’s Executive Director.
Prior to the establishment of the Cash Centre, GTB had to transfer money to Socfin’s offices to pay staff, “when we are requested to do so,” he revealed.
In order to ease these constraints, Socfin proposed the setting up of a Cash Centre in the locality.
The Executive Director explained that the standard banking products and various services would be offered to customers, while GTB’s Head of Human Resources, Nancy Harvey has stressed that certain services would not be available because it is a Cash Centre, but nonetheless it will provide banking services in a locality that is in dire need of it.
The Executive Director buttressed, “What we are doing now is to take the service to customers for the sake of convince and provision of excellent banking within their locality.”
Speaking about the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility, Mr. Obasun said the idea of opening a bank in that locality in itself is adhering to their Corporate Social Responsibility. “We are making banking services available in an area that is dire need of it. This is in line with the government policy of encouraging financial institutions in the country,” he averred.
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