Metrobank: Product driven approach of banks leads to poor service

The UK banking sector’s product driven approach has led to a reduction in service for customers, according to Metrobank.

Giving evidence to the Treasury select committee’s inquiry into competition and choice in the banking sector this morning Metrobank vice chairman Vernon Hill was asked by committee member Conservative MP Jesse Norman if a product based approach causes banks to ignore the customer, disinvest in branches and adopt inhuman approaches.

He said: “Yes, yes, and yes. If your model is product driven and not service driven, you design your whole model, your IT, your conversations around product sales, you don’t design it around service.

“The American model, and Metrobank’s would be the extreme version, is a customer centric model, we focus on information and service to the customer. Here it has developed a product driven model: what products are we going to sell to our customers.

“The simple idea that a bank would have what’s called a single client view, one computer screen I can look across and see all of the relationships we have, that is vanilla in America and most of the large banks here do not have it.”

He said while recruiting in the UK to staff Metrobank “all we hear is product sales, product sales.”

He said: “In our model we don’t compensate people for product sales, we reward them for delivering on our model and the service results they deliver.”

He told the committee that bank customer dissatisfaction rates in the UK are at levels he had never seen in the US citing a recent survey which said 42 per cent of customers are dissatisfied with their banks service.

He said: “Santander has a dissatisfaction rate in this survey of 62 per cent. No retailer over time can survive with customer dissatisfaction levels that high.”