Memes and videos are mocking the institution. Others have spoofs of their pay-off, turning it from “FCMB, My Bank and I”, to “FCMB, Your Wife and I.”
There is also the matter of the integrity of the trending narrative. What happened really? Persons claiming affinity to the parties involved say the blow out happened five years ago. At issue now is the power of the internet and social media in constructing narratives.
Someone or a group of persons used the unfortunate demise of Mr Tunde Thomas as the peg for spinning a salacious web that ropes in the bank through its primus inter pares. It is a deft and calculated sting filled from poisonous darts.
Mr Adam Nuru, the Managing Director/CEO of the bank and his friends finally stepped out to debunk aspects of the story. They stated that Nuru is not the father of Moyo’s two children; Nuru was friends with the late Thomas; the story is a fabrication made for social age; the alleged petition is anonymous. Note that none of the statements denied the alleged dalliance.
1. The narrative has provided room for sundry operatives to sully the image of the bank.
2. FCMB has issued a holding statement, acknowledging the issue, and assuring stakeholders that the bank is on top of the situation.
3. There are issues of corporate governance, ethics, HR management and corporate reputation.
4. Discussions of the matter must go beyond the sensual to examining issues of professional and ethical conduct.
6. The MD is the Chief Reputation Officer of every institution. He cannot effectively carry the corporate banner if his banner has horrible stains.
7. The reputation of the bank is critical. They should work to ensure no one besmirches it further.
Adam Nuru and his paramour contravened the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance 2018. Section 4.6 of the Code demands the following of the MD: “4.3 The MD/CEO should establish a culture of integrity, conformance and performance, which should be assimilated by personnel at all levels of the Company”.
It further states:
4.6 The MD/CEO should declare any conflict of interest on appointment and annually thereafter. In the event that he becomes aware of any potential conflict of interest at any other point, he should disclose this to the Board at the first possible opportunity. Actions following disclosure should be subject to the Company’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
In claiming the issue, the bank stated:
“We are aware of several stories circulating across several media platforms about our bank’s Managing Director Adam Nuru, a former employee Ms Moyo Thomas and her deceased ex-husband, Mr Tunde Thomas.
“While this is a personal matter, the tragedy of the death of Mr Tunde Thomas and the allegations of unethical conduct, require the Board to conduct a review of what transpired, any violations of our Code of ethics and the adequacy of these Code of conduct ethics. This will be done immediately.
FCMB confirms in the statement that there was an affair. FCMB wonders if such a relationship amounted to “violations of our Code of ethics” and if the Code is adequate to tackle emerging issues
Many other issues arise from the FCMB saga. They are branding, reputation management, the strength of the personal versus corporate brand, ethics and corporate governance. There is also HR management.
The bank needs to look beyond its Code and reference the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance 2018. The Securities and Exchange Commission also has a Code for quoted firms.
The MD should step aside. The claim of an investigation is not credible while the MD sits unless the investigators report directly to the Board or the Chairman.
Before this saga, the MD of FCMB was one of the silent ones in media exposure. He had a very insignificant Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) among bank CEOs. His affair is the excuse for “enemies”, mischief-makers or fun-seekers to attack the corporate brand. What a way to trend!
The challenge, therefore, is ensuring minimal damage to the corporate brand.
FCMB should issue a second statement no later than 8 January 2021 or the end of the first business week of the year.
They should assure customers of the safety of their funds and other stakeholders of the bank’s health.
Monitor. Monitor. Monitor. Media and non-media.
FCMB should change the agenda as soon as possible. They could announce a major initiative that engages customers, primarily, or what their dipstick reveals.
Create new and engaging content. Word of mouth is critical.
Members of NIPR Lagos had a mini-workshop on this matter on Sunday, 3 January through 4 January. Engaging and highly professional. Thanks to Toni Kan, Jide Benson, Nkechi Alli-Balogun, Emeka Maduegbuna, Olutayo Irantiola, Dotun Adekanmbi, Temitope Oguntokun, Eniola Mayowa, Taiwo Tunkarimu and Blessing Nwobodo-Itua.
The ball is in the court of FCMB. Massive fires spring from little triggers.