There was commotion on Saturday inside Standard Bank Mzuzu Branch when angry customers who filled the Banking hall refused to be served to force management to add more tellers.
The commotion started at around 10:30 am after the clients, including this reporter, had queued for almost one and half hours without being served as the Bank had two tellers on duty, one for withdrawals and another for deposits, despite long snaking queues.
“This Bank doesn’t care about their customers. How can they put two tellers when they know that many customers want to be served?” a customer, Warrien Banda wondered.
He said he had been on the queue for close to one and half hours without being served.
Banda wondered why the Bank decided to have only two tellers leaving the other available four teller stations empty.
“As one way of showing the Bank that we pay them and we are their masters, we unanimously agreed, as clients, to boycott the services and wait in the banking hall for management to add more tellers,” he explained.
Another customer who refused to be named asked Standard Bank of Malawi to prioritize customer care, saying their services are very slow.
“This Bank takes us, clients, for granted. They don’t have a human heart; some clients are elderly and others, especially women, have babies on their backs but they stand on the queue for long time,” She noted.
As the angry customers were shouting, a seemingly senior member of staff emerged from the backroom to cool the situation.
He advised the customers to have Auto Teller Machine (ATM) cards for them to accesses services through ATMs.
“We have two ATMs outside but few clients use them. We want you to have ATM cards and start accessing services through them,” he said before bowing down to the customer’s demands by adding two more tellers.
But some customers who have cards charged that ATMs have limited services and capacity.
“Your ATMs have limitation as to how much one can withdraw in a day. Some of us want to withdraw huge sums of money; that’s why we are inside,” said one customer, loudly.
When contacted later to find out whether the Bank has shortage of staff, Mzuzu Branch Manager Bamusi Mafupa said he was away in Mangochi and was not aware of the incident.
“We have enough staff at our branch and we usually put four tellers and three on deposits and one on withdrawals. If you are saying there were two tellers then I have to ask my colleagues as to what happened to have two only,” he said in a telephone interview. (By Aliko Munde, Mzuzu)