Guaranty Trust Bank has been in the eNews lately, not for positive reasons but due to their continuous effort at dissatisfying their young internet savvy customers. Hardly a day goes without seeing barrages of complaints on various social media platforms. I have banked with Guaranty Trust Bank since 2005 and it was only recently that I summoned the courage to move some of my transaction to other banks. This was one of the best decisions that I have taken this year.


Today is Christmas day, a day that should define the season of love and happiness. Guaranty Trust Bank in their characteristic manner of ensuring dissatisfaction decided to reward their customers with a debit alert. This was a deduction of N100 termed ‘Annual Card Maintenance Fee.’ Trust the largely vocal young Nigerians, they took to Twitter to share their anger as to the non-acceptance of such a gift.

At a first glance, you will be tempted to join the flow of conversation after all it is Guaranty Trust Bank, the much despised bank on social media. On a further non-cursory glance, it will become clearer that in this instance, it is beyond a typical Guaranty Trust Bank attitude.

Why the N100 Annual Card Maintenance Fee:

Before attempting an explanation, kindly download the revised guide to bank charges as approved by Central Bank of Nigeria and dated March 27, 2013 here Skip to page 18 and you will find it nestled under item 10.5.4 as debit card maintenance fee, an annual charge of N100.

Why on earth should I be charged N100 as Annual Card Maintenance Fee:

There are two broad reasons why Guaranty Trust Bank and any other bank can charge a customer a maintenance fee for using a debit card. They are as follows:

  1. Banks incur charges anytime you use your debit card.
  • The charges can be in form of processing fees paid to processors. Some typical processors include Interswitch, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System and Unified Payment Services.
  • The charges can also be in form of card schemes which include those from Verve, Visa, Mastercard etc.
  1. Using you debit card on an automated teller machine (ATM) that is different from the bank provider of your card. This is free for the first two transactions as your bank pays the withdrawal charge of N65 for you. You only start paying from the 3rd transaction. The only thing a bank that wishes to profit can do is to hope that their customers only use their own automated teller machine.

With the two scenarios above, it is sufficient to say that the N100 annual card maintenance fee makes perfect business sense. In further analysis, it can be deduced that this may not entirely cover the expenses incurred by banks to put a debit card into your hand.

I hope we can be guided to let Guaranty Trust bank go in this case and continue to call them out in deserved lack luster service delivery.

Merry Christmas.

Photo Credits: Guaranty Trust Bank

Blossom Nnodim: Public Relations Actor. Niche Blogger at Focus: Social Good| Social Media| Social Technology