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Bank staff still under ‘more’ pressure to sell

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07/12/2012
Two-thirds of bank staff with sales roles are finding themselves under "more pressure than ever" to hit targets, despite the slew of major mis-selling scandals in recent years, Which? has said.
Bank staff still under ‘more’ pressure to sell

The consumer group surveyed more than 550 branch and call centre staff at HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Santander earlier this year.

Of the 371 who said they have a sales role, 298 said they had sales targets to meet.

Which? said the results suggested major mis-selling scandals have failed to stop banks pressuring staff into pushing potentially unsuitable products.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said it had changed its staff incentives programme, with goals now based on clear criteria related to customer service.

But Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: “Senior bankers say the culture is changing but this shows it just isn’t filtering through to staff on the front line who remain under real pressure to put sales before service, even after incentives are taken away.

“This proves the need for big change across the industry and for bankers to put customers first, not sales.”

A spokesman for the BBA said: “Selling people products they do not need is not putting the customer’s interests first and therefore is ultimately bad for the bank.

“The banks will be looking at the findings of this small survey – along with their own internal research – to understand why any staff might feel otherwise.”

Which? said it plans to hand in a dossier of evidence on the banking industry to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, MPs and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

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