Social media influencers campaign for the boycott of Access Bank has further shown the extent to which social movement can impact businesses in Nigeria. As exemplified by the action of the influencers and other social media users in the last few hours, it is clear that customers and non-customers can collectively work towards calling the bank’s attention to the need to protect its customers despite expected regulator’s action in a challenging time like this.
In its response to the campaign, the bank notes that “We want to express our sympathy for the inconvenience that eight of our customers are going through due to the restrictions on their accounts as mandated by a federal court order. We are eager for this to be resolved as soon as possible
“It is common knowledge that we and the entire banking industry are regulated entities and therefore operate under the authority of our regulators and law enforcement agencies. As such we are compelled to comply with regulatory directives.
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“While acknowledging the concern of all well-meaning parties, we urge that enquiries and views be channeled to the relevant regulatory and judicial agencies where the matter is receiving attention. It is therefore surprising that some individuals still choose to target Access Bank in a negative manner despite not being the source of the action.”
Ignoring the Signal
Looking at the statement, it is clear that there is a conflict of protectionism. The bank took the action in the interest of security issue the government linked to the protests. This is, however, done at the expense of protecting customers. While taking the action, our analyst observes that the bank believed that impacts would not be severe since it affects few customers. Issuing a press statement suggests that bank is experiencing the outcomes of its action already and customers and non-customers have access to different information.
Access Bank Credibility
In the next few days, our analyst expects more impacts in terms of reduction in the number of people who patronise the bank through the digital banking platforms and physical outlets. This is hinged on the fact that they have ability to interpret the information differently. The management of the bank needs to work on its credibility issues such as poor customer engagement. This is necessary because “the more customers perceive a brand at a higher level of credibility, they are less inclined to engage in boycott activities against the brand.”