The couple swaggered into the bank. The wife was just the right height for a woman. The husband was of average height . They looked good together. I was scanning a document at the Customer Service Desk and the minute I heard the word ‘account’ I sprang into sales man mode and took over most of the talking. They asked about documentation required to open a corporate account. I gave them a checklist and the Wife asked whether the account could be opened right away if they produced all the documents. They actually had all the documents with them and the account was opened quickly with glee. The husband was quiet most of the time; he seemed to be the custodian of the documents. He handed them over one after the other.
They got to the part in the form where you have to state the signing instructions. The wife asked me “where do I put ‘A’ and ‘B”? She wrote something down and gave it to her husband to sign first, and then she signed. She zipped open her bag and brought out N250,000 neatly wrapped up like a gift. After the cash was confirmed they left. Apparently she had made “Oga” signatory A and herself signatory B. I looked through their company documents. She was the majority shareholder. I smiled…she was one of those women!
Everything seemed to go well after that. The couple called me quite regularly to check their balances and confirm payments. The Husband didn’t come to the bank much. The wife vehemently opposed internet banking. The Husband seemed to be the writer of cheques, while she the wife was the one funding the account. She was a contractor to one of the oil companies not too far away from my office.
I got a text message from the Wife (let’s call her Mrs Suzy) very early one morning, asking me to please wait for her that she was on her way to the bank. She came in not too long after, breathless and huffing. In one hand was her hand bag, while in the other was a medium sized “Ghana must go” bag. She was sweating and seemed to be upset.
She said to me: “Miss, please I want to change the signing instructions on my corporate account”.
I replied: okay ma, what do you want to change it to?
Her reply: Please I want to remove my Husband from being a signatory to the account.
I didn’t want to pry. Hence, I told her the bank would require a board resolution executed by herself and her husband.
She asked: “Can’t you find another way to do it for me?”
Me: “I’m so sorry ma, there really is no other way. Its bank’s policy, in fact, industry policy”
Her face fell. “okay, she said. Let me tell you what’s happening. My Husband used to work for an oil servicing company. He was doing okay there, but the pay was not good enough. I needed him to make more money for the family, so we agreed he should resign. I set him up – paid for an office space, furnished it, bought him a truck and a utility car for his staff and gave him capital to start diesel supply business. I understood that she wanted me to see her very good reason for wanting to yank the man off her network. I re-explained and suggested that she quickly register or incorporate another company and run it solo.
They must have made up a little while after, because they came to the bank together a number of times. She had whispered to me on one occasion with a wink that all was well. They were due to travel to the U.S, so they had come in to buy PTA. He seemed to have a permanent smile on his face, even though he wasn’t actually smiling. Who wouldn’t be happy to have a wife do all the running around and sorting out of the bills, I thought