The idea of banks putting customers first may make you laugh. Especially if yours still tries to persuade you to take out a packaged current account with benefits you don’t need. Or when you think about the PPI saga.
But several banks do claim they’ve moved away from sales-driven commission and now focus purely on customer service targets.
Many problems stemmed from what was a high-pressured culture of sales targets and bonuses. The banks were told to clean up their acts and back in March 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority said that all the major banks had either replaced or substantially improved their staff incentive schemes.
But do the banks’ claims of how they’ve changed match your experience?
How do you feel about the way your bank sells products?
If you’re popping into your local branch, will staff usually encourage you to take our another product with them, such as a mortgage or a credit card? And if they do, does it bother you?
A colleague of mine recently nipped in to their local bank to pay in a cheque and – without prompting – was offered a £20,000 loan – with the money to be made available that same day.
Perhaps you find it useful, not irritating, when your bank tries to sell you something. If, for example, you end up with a better rate on your savings, that could be a good thing. And if you need to buy travel insurance for your summer holiday, a nudge from bank staff could be a helpful reminder.
Is it handy that you can get everything in one place – perhaps your bank can offer you currency, insurance and a prepaid card at the same time?
Others might argue that banks have a poor reputation for selling products in a transparent way. And how confident are you that they always understand the products they sell?
Only a few months ago, our undercover investigation revealed that bank and building society staff were unable to answer simple questions about Isa rules correctly.
What do you think of how your bank sells you products? Do you find it useful or annoying? Do you think that banks have improved the way they sell products to customers?