The Big Six Banks Will Treat You Like Sheep – If You Allow It
Are banks reliable and honest advice providers that offer assistance and guidance with peoples’ best interests in mind?
In case we had any remaining delusions the banks are reliable and honest advice providers that offer assistance and guidance with peoples’ best interests in mind, a federal agency made sure those delusions are gone.
In a recently released report, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada stated that the corporate culture at the Big Six banks sharply focuses on selling products and services and that there are not sufficient controls to protect clients from any aggressive sales practices.
The FCAC did state it has some ideas on protecting bank customers, or at least on improving protection, which sounds promising. But, this is hardly the main problem we all face. Profit-focused banks have always pressured their employees to coerce customers into buying more products and services. The main problem we all seem to ignore is the fact we live in a country that’s mesmerized by the financial industry, and this industry is granted way too many kinds of liberties. We, as a country, encourage banks to act like predators. How do we do this? By acting like sheep, of course.
Last year, a series of CBC reports showed how banks pressure their staff to meet sales targets. Anonymous bank employees told all kinds of stories, from increasing customer limits with no authorization whatsoever - to placing clients in unsuitable mutual funds. Although it’s imperative to note that FCAC didn’t find these examples to be widespread, the fact remains that these things do happen – and they keep repeating.
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The one thing this report is clear on is the fact that banks are selling products, and they sometimes go way too far with the sales practices. That’s just how sales work. When your living heavily depends on closing a deal, it’s easy to get too aggressive. It’s a vulture mentality. Wolves and other predators would understand this practice entirely.
Of course, as consumers, we are already prepared for this kind of an experience when we buy new things. We know salespeople will do anything to close a deal and we’re ready for this kind of pressure when we buy cars, houses, motorcycles, or whatever it is we need to buy. But it’s different with banks. Their policy is to intimidate us until we find ourselves in the state of compliance. The banks’ will becomes our way of life. It affects everything. It becomes a giant part of our lives without us even realizing it at first.
The real name for today’s bank branches should be something like financial retail outlets, or perhaps even money stores. According to FCAC reports, new technology has enabled banks to focus more on selling things to people, things like mortgages, savings, checking accounts, and less on handling the client’s transactions. Banks are no longer institutions that take care of our money - they exist to sell us all sorts of products and services instead.
As in any sales-based company or organization, bank employees are awarded according to the number of products they sell. While frontline bank staff is on salary, they also receive a variable portion of their pay based on their sales performances.
People in Canada need to learn bank literacy. We need an altogether reconfiguring of the ways financial literacy is in our country.
Above all, we need to understand the following:
● Banks aren’t advisers. They are vendors of financial products.
● The products your bank pressures you to buy often isn’t suitable for your needs.
● Banks don’t exist or work for their customers – they work for their shareholders.
● For just about any product a bank offers, there is almost always a cheaper and less painful alternative.
For assistance with your mortgages needs contact Taylor Made Mortgages
Call Kerry Mason at 905-691-7786
Taylor Made Mortgages