Approximately 13.5 million UK consumers feel they have been miss-sold a product or service by a bank or building society in the past, according to new research released today. The research was commissioned by Information Management Group (IMGROUP) in order to examine whether retail banks are working to ensure the best outcomes for their customers. It suggests that the miss-selling of products by banks or building societies has been a common occurrence in the UK with over a quarter (26%) of consumers surveyed having been affected by miss-selling.
In addition to this, consumers feel that banks and building societies are failing to keep up with their changing circumstances when offering new products, with 59% of respondents to the survey saying that their bank or building society rarely or never takes into account changes in personal circumstances when it comes to the products they try to sell.
“In light of the recent high profile miss-selling scandals, the Financial Conduct Authority has made clear its intention to make successful customer outcomes the primary priority for the retail banking industry,” explains Suranjan Som, Head of Financial Services Technology at IMGROUP. “It is therefore vital that banks have the tools and systems in place to ensure that the products and services offered to a customer are always the most appropriate choices for that individual.”
While over half (51%) of respondents said they felt that there are not any banks or building societies that particularly consider what is right for the customer when selling additional products and services, there were some organisations that were identified as better at this than others. The organisation which was seen as being the most effective in considering the customer in products it sold was Nationwide Building Society, according to 12% of respondents. This was followed by Halifax, Barclays and Lloyds TSB all with 9%.
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Interestingly when asked how consumers prefer to be contacted by their bank or building society, despite the ubiquity of social media, less than 1% of respondents prefer to be contacted through this channel. The preferred methods of contact among respondents were traditional in-branch contact (42%) and through online accounts (38%).
The survey also, unsurprisingly, reveals that saving money is clearly important to consumers, with 44% of consumers saying that they would like their bank to identify ways for them to save money based on a comparison of other people in similar circumstances.
Looking at the more recent past, there are mixed messages when it comes to selling products and services -16% of customers feel that products that have been sold or offered to them in the last two years were right and based on an understanding of their circumstances, but 17% felt that products offered were completely untargeted and just designed to make more money. This suggests that there needs to be more balance within the financial services industry when it comes to selling products and services.
“The key to producing improved customer outcomes is being able to consistently capture the right data from customer interactions across service channels and via external data sources, enabling banks to understand trends, create compelling market offerings and interact with consumers in a seamless, targeted and engaging way” Comments David Marriage, Director for Financial Services at IMGROUP.
The research surveyed a representative sample of 2,021 UK consumers aged 16 and over. It was commissioned by IMGROUP and conducted by Censuswide in March 2014.
IMGROUP provides business and technology consulting services for information management. Its capabilities range from technical solution delivery and application management, through to the implementation of strategic programmes across the enterprise. Specialist areas of expertise include Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Performance Management, SharePoint, CRM and Cloud Services. IMGROUP has delivered solutions within a range of industries including Financial Services, Media and Broadcasting, Retail, Professional Services and Public Sector. IMGROUP is headquartered in London with offices in Manchester, New York and India. For more information, visitwww.imgroup.com