Walking away from BSN

It’s Friday in Malaysia, so you’d expect things to be a bit different. But I was not ready for the bank to be closed. BSN apparently is above the financial crisis hitting the world, and above the fear of losing customers in a shrinking capital base, and above being afraid of closing down.

They are after all guaranteed by the Malaysian government.

The midday closing hours of 1 to 2.30 on the final working day of the week, is inconvenient. And banks are in the convenience business.

BSN have to be mindful that every other commercial bank is open, expect for I noticed Muamalat Bank too.

It might not be surprising that these are in the list of banks struggling.

I talked to the staff, and they just looked at me, happy to just explain that it is bank policy.

Now the issue

It might be pointed to be plaintively that Muslims have to observe their Friday prayers, and therefore these banks being culturally rich are closed.

But the working week we have agreed to is 9 to 5. The other commercial banks are open, because work has to go on.

I’ll concede that it is a challenge for overwhelmingly Malay organisations like BSN and Muamalat to man the counter during those hours, but they just have to manage.

The truth is, the customer would prefer the convenient choice. If BSN was to lose it government guarantee and access to many government managed initiatives, this bank will collapse in record time.

It has no real appeal, no real advantage and no real word of mouth about service. All my experience with the bank is just sub-standard.

And if my mother did not have to deal with them for her pension, I would never be seen inside their premises.

The answer

The folks in BSN might conveniently ignore this.

But they have to align themselves to a customer think, and not a “you will have to come to us anyway, since we are the assigned bank” think.

Ignore at your own peril.

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