Customer Wants Card Renewal, But GTB Puts Him Through 2-Week Psychological Torture

Daniel Bassey, a resident of Lagos State, has told how Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) blocked his debit card before the expiration date for no valid reason.

Bassey told FIJ that he was asked to visit one of the bank branches in Ketu, Lagos, when he received a notification on March 2, 2022 that it was almost time for him to “renew his debit card”.

According to him, the email from the bank came at a time when the card he was carrying was two months away from its expiration date.

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To maintain the same Primary Account Number (PAN) he had been using on the debit card for 12 years, Bassey visited the branch closest to his location to fill out a new card application form.


“On March 2, 2020, GTBank sent me an email stating that my ATM naira Mastercard would expire on May 31, and a new one would be automatically produced for me. The message also requested that I change my pick-up location on the internet banking platform before the expiration date,” said Bassey.

GTB’s email to Bassey

“I had a problem that prevented me from changing my location on the internet banking platform, so I decided to visit their Ketu branch on March 8th. they gave me a form to fill out.

“To my dismay, I was later challenged when I tried to complete a transaction with the card at a gas station the next day.

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“At that point I got confused. I was also ashamed of the gas station attendant who started causing a scene when I couldn’t pay him on time. During the process I checked if my mobile banking app would work and it did. So I successfully paid the transaction.

“I really wanted to find out what was wrong with my card, so I went to the same Ketu branch for the second time to file a complaint. They assured me that my card was OK. I then decided to take advantage of it, using the POS machine in the bank and the system response I got was ‘CARD GIVEN LOST’. YOUR CARD HAS BEEN RETAINED.’ I didn’t understand what was going on.”


Bassey told FIJ that the bank later determined that one of its employees had blocked his card.

“Shocked, I asked him to explain why it was blocked. With no concrete answer, he simply promised to find out. Their findings later revealed that it was the staff member who looked after me when I first requested a card transfer who blocked it. She then proceeded to process a new card that I never asked for,” said Bassey.

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“On March 9, I went back to the bank for the third time to solve the problem for me, as I had to travel abroad that same month. I also didn’t want to go through any unpleasant experiences during my trip. I insisted that my card be unblocked.”

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Bassey said he eventually applied for a personal travel allowance (PTA) to have some money for the planned overseas trip.

“While I was trying to resolve the issue, I applied for a PTA through the trading system platform on March 9th and they uploaded my information,” said Bassey.

Proof of application for PTA

“A few minutes later, they rejected the application because I had not attached an authorization letter authorizing the bank to debit my account, despite me expressly stating so on the form.

“I was frustrated again and I asked to withdraw £300 from my pound account. They told me they only had £100 in polymer and offered to give me paper notes.

“I had to wonder why they offered me such an option, since they had said they would cancel the paper note collection by December 31, 2022. I later left there without getting any help.”

He said he sent a complaint online to the bank when he arrived in the UK on March 10.

“After my arrival in the UK I sent a complaint to them on March 10. They later replied that my email was being investigated,” said Bassey.

GTBank’s response on March 11

“During my short stay in the UK, I was unable to access my money at GTBank due to the debit card issue. I had to resort to other means to ensure that I could meet my needs.”


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When Bassey returned from his trip to Nigeria, he visited another GTbank branch on Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba, to resubmit the card complaint.

“I was at their Yaba branch on March 23 after my return to Nigeria, they asked me to fill out a card collection form and finally I was able to access my card again,” he said.

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“I am still shocked by the whole story. So far I still don’t know why the bank blocked his card and denied me access to my money for two weeks.”


Bassey went on to say that the experience caused him unnecessary confusion and mental disorder.

“After a lot of back and forth, I picked up my card and started mulling over what justified the bank for subjecting me to those problems,” said Bassey.

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“I was mentally disturbed and it made me question whether I had ever been involved in a questionable transaction to justify the bank’s action against me.

“I expected them to apologize for hurting me so much, but nothing like that ever happened to them. I wasn’t treated well at all.”

The e-mail from the FIJ to GTBank about the development had not been responded to at the time of going to press.


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