Banks opt for direct sale to save operational cost



Nigerian banks are obviously facing hard times and have turned to direct sale option, against outright employment, to save operational cost.Direct sales agent structure enables banks to recruit contract staff whose job is to mobilise retail deposits on behalf of the banks.The salary structure in this case, is usually far below that of the conventional bank staff.


However, apart from the stipend they are paid, they are also entitled to commissions for any business they attract to the bank.Speaking to The Guardian, a top executive in one of the banks, said that cost-wise, it is cheaper than outright employment, adding that it also enables banks to be directly in touch with the retail end of the market.


This he said is because these set of staff, “are not the double handset clutching and suit wearing bank staff you usually see.”These ones dress in order to be able to mix with market men and women.  Once they make the contacts, a permanent staff then moves in to collect the cash,” he said.


He pointed out that, this is usually the pattern in all the banks direct agents are not allowed to handle cash transactions, as they always have a staff attached to them.Apart from that, he said that a hardworking youth could make good money from the system instead of staying idle at home.


For instant, in a recent advert placement, Standard Chartered which earns more than 90 per cent of its operating income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, generated by its Wholesale Banking and Consumer Banking businesses, recently placed adverts looking for BCOT Positions – Direct Sales.The job description in the advert included, sales of SME products, sales of Lending products and relationship management.The key roles and responsibilities also included, sourcing NTB customers, ensure quality of accounts meets SCB requirements, maintain and manage relationship with customers, and ensure documentations are completed within the approved TAT.


Qualifications skill requirement includes, B Sc University degree (2:2 Minimum), relationship management skills, sales experience will be an advantage, effective communication skills. In a related development, Skye Bank Plc, which recently realigned its business policy in a move, geared towards greater efficiency and resource optimization in line with its growth and industry leadership agenda.


According to a statement issued by the bank, the new arrangement has led to a review of its out-sourcing policy on staff and other third party supply process in order to streamline its staff engagement process.The bank explained that because of its new business and operational focus, it has discontinued its Direct Sales Agents (DSAs) structure, by which contract officers mobilize retail deposits on its behalf. Consequently, such Direct Sales Agents are no longer engaged for its retail business.


The DSAs were first engaged about two years ago to mobilize retail liabilities (savings and current accounts) to deepen the retail business of the bank. However, with the change in the business focus of the bank, their continued need has been overtaken by events.




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