Rising Cost Of Energy: Banks Begin Reduction In Branch Operating Hours
Monday 21st, 2022.
There are indications that rising energy cost, particularly diesel, has affected all sectors of the economy, forcing many organisations including commercial banks to stagger operating hours in a bid to manage cost.
In some areas, the pump price of diesel per litre has risen to as high as N800 from the N225/litre in January 2021. Nigeria is also battling with epileptic power supply as a result of incessant national grid collapse. Service time for customers as well as working hours for staff are also being reduced.Already, First Bank of Nigeria has revised operating hours for its branches. According to a publication on the website of the tier 1 bank, some branches are to operate from 8am to 1pm based on their locations, others 8am to 2pm, 8am to 3pm and 8am to 4pm.
“We have revised our banking hours across all our locations. The revised opening and closing hours will be effective from Monday, April 11, 2022,” the bank stated in the publication. Also, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO), adopted similar measures weeks ago. Guaranty Trust Bank had sent a notice of reduction in opening hours to their customers. The bank, which is one of the very few banks operating an 8am to 5pm banking hours, had in the mail stated that effective from Monday, March 21, 2022 its branches will close by 4pm.
The bank, which had spent the most on fuel and energy costs in 2017, has been able to bring down its annual spending on fuel.
As against N9.54 billion which it spent in 2017, it was able to cut down fuel and energy spending to N8.32 billion and N6.89 billion in 2018 and 2019 but the costs rose in 2020 to N7.68 before dropping to N5.01 billion in 2021.GTB in the mail sent to customers said, “We would like to inform you that our branches will now open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, effective Monday, March 21, 2022. Our secure and convenient digital banking channels are always available to you.