In an article the Western Mail the CEO of the Monmouthshire Building Society states that creating a better financial services sector in the UK will not be the result of “bank bashing”.
As someone who considers themselves something of a financial services veteran (defined as 25 plus years experience), this got me thinking.
Clearly Financial services has been tainted by behaviour of the banks & the insurers who mis-sold Personal Pensions & mortgage related Endowment policies. Clearly the industry has an image problem & is not trusted by the people who should be its biggest advocates – its customers !
This inherent mistrust of the industry and in some cases the inbuilt complexity, jargon and lack of transparency continue to confuse and confound the problem of lack of protection & security in key areas for consumers. In other words, consumers lack the very basic products that could make a real difference to their financial wellbeing.
So here is a ten point pledge that all providers of financial products should sign up to:
- Treat customers as they would expect to be treated themselves
- Design and manufacture products and services that are easy to understand
- Make essential products affordable and accessible to all
- Write customer communication that customers can understand
- Look after your customers first and shareholders second
- Create customer experiences that are memorable for the right reasons
- Remember that every enquiry, letter, telephone call, case, claim, policy number is a real person. Focus on the person not the task
- Remember whose money it is that you are collecting and managing
- Offer additional discounts for existing customers on new products
- Scrap all sales targets and get your salesforce to focus on serving the customer first and foremost. Build relationships with customer and play the long game to rebuild trust.
Do all of the above and financial services can grow up and fulfil its destiny & become the force for good that it should be !