The CBC expose of the banks pressure on staff to sell will hopefully open the minds of people to great financial opportunities they are unwilling to look at now
Why do we insist on having the same emotional bond with our bank that we do with our mother?
I love Don Pittis’ CBC headline, “….banks are not your mom…”http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-banks-complaints-upselling-1.4025800
What do we say to a sale associate who approaches us, offering her/his help when we are in a retail store? Most likely we respond with “No thanks, I don’t need your help” meaning, “I don’t need your pressure” or “I don’t trust you to guide me to something I don’t want”
So why do we have the emotional response of being “home with Mom” when we enter a bank?
Because they have done a great job, along with the Canadian government of building our trust. But our trust that they won’t fail corporately is not the same trust that they won’t induce us to do something we might not do if we had all the facts to process at home with a clear un-emotional mind.
We now know due to the sleuthing of the CBC that their tellers are really sales associates but without the accompanying sales name tag.
My own emotional bank attachment started in I think it was grade 3. Our entire class marched over to the bank of Nova Scotia in our little town of about 3000 for a tour. We were shown the safe and given some hot chocolate and cookies. My memory tells me that they also opened a bank account for each of us with a few pennies deposited. So of course as a newly married young man I went back to that same bank branch and approached my former Cub-Scout Master, the loans manager, for my first mortgage.
All so warm and fuzzy.
But the CBC has verified what a young woman told me a few years ago: That she was being pushed to entice customers to acquire additional credit cards even when she could see they should not have another. The pressure took an emotional toll on her health and she resigned.
I am not here to say that life insurance companies have no pressure. I’m just happy to have the CBC do a wakeup call to us lazy consumers. Everywhere you go there is pressure to get you to buy something. I love the expression by Dave Ramsey, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
In addition to the problem of us having to fight a certain level of laziness, we have to fight inertia. We have been doing things this way for our entire life: We just plain old trust our bank fully and without reservation.
That’s tragic. I see elderly friends walking into my own bank. I love my bank. I trust it and the staff. But there is no way, even if an employee wanted to, that he could say, “Mr. Customer, in your specific situation and based on what you have said, you should really be talking to a life insurance person. A life insurance company can give you the guarantees you desire AND invest in the stock market at the same time”. Or, “A life insurance company can set up an account that allows you to withdraw a prescribed amount each month and it can never run out”. Or, he can never say, “You’ll get a better interest rate, have the ability to withdraw your money in an emergency and pay lower income tax on the interest.” He can never say to a young family, “Sometimes banks don’t pay out. You really should get a life insurance policy to cover not only your mortgage but also your family. Such a policy is guaranteed to pay out, unlike our mortgage insurance” http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2008-episodes/in-denial
From my perspective from the life insurance side I salute the banks. They have worked hard and spent big buck advertising and in customer relations. In contrast, you hardly see the life insurance companies. In terms of brand recognition, life insurance companies barely make the charts.
But this is my little effort to help that educational process. Call me if you’d like to discuss it further: http://investlife.ca/contact/
‘We must earn our customers’ trust’: TD Bank on defensive after CBC stories
‘I feel duped’: Why bank employees with impressive but misleading titles could cost you big time
‘It’s just lip service’: Former TD worker skeptical of bank’s ability to reform
Should Canada’s banks be more like Apple? The case against sales targets
‘We are all doing it’: Employees at Canada’s 5 big banks speak out about pressure to dupe customers
Credit union employees say high-pressure sales targets turn ‘members’ into ‘marks’
Bombarded by warm and friendly ads, Canadians might be deceived into thinking banks are kindly public services. But they are businesses, although they must work hard to keep our trust.
Mike Black says he feels “completely betrayed” after investing almost $1 million with the help of an RBC Dominion Securities “vice-president” who he later learned is only licensed as a salesperson.