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Redwood: Banks should do more cross-selling


Conservative MP John Redwood says banks should make more use of the information they hold on their customers’ finances to increase the amount of cross-selling they do.

Writing on his blog, Redwood says that compared to supermarkets, banks know far more about their customers and should use the knowledge of how much people have in their current accounts and how they spend money on their debit cards to make people “feel like the bank is on their side”.

He says: “My bank hardly ever approaches me with an offer of any additional service. It does not notice if I have some cash that could be put into a savings product, or am short of cash and might need a personal loan. It may see a customer taking out a mortgage elsewhere or buying a car, but fails to make contact to see if it can help.”

In contrast, he says, supermarkets know only what items a customer buys in their shops but “use this data to full effect” by offering discounts and offers.

He says: “My food retailer knows I shop elsewhere and they want more of my business. They reward loyalty and they encourage a wider relationship by intelligent marketing.

“Customers want to feel the bank is on their side, but all too often feel it is not. A healthy dose of getting to know the customers and offering us the services we want at good value prices would be most welcome.”


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There are 13 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Er ? John is this not the root of the problems with banks, if you want advice on your savings pay a IFA , why go to a butcher when all you want is potato’s therefore why would your butcher call you offering a veggie alternative ?

  2. Justin Urquhart Stewart 31st July 2012 at 10:46 am

    No that is the path to doom – again!
    Use their database yes but not to xsell – that will lead to pressu selling again. No banks need to learn service again and then proffer the correct facilities

  3. That’s it, if anybody needed proof this man should be sectioned then this will suffice.

  4. Have I found myself in an episode of ‘Quantum Leap’?

  5. OH DEAR JOHN ! Having met you before, I thought you were silly I just didnt realise how silly !!!!

    I foretold you what goes round comes round !! here we go !!!

    I could actually write this novel ‘cos unlike most new model exam wealth fee adviser junkies who really do believe ‘if you build it they will come’ I know how it ends

  6. Sums it up really – no mention of advice here – is it any wonder we are in the mess we are in when those in government think financial products are sold and the regulator thinks advice is given!

  7. I dont see a problem with his thoughts…after all it has worked so well with PPI!! It also worked well for Barclays when they cross sold all of their retail clients Aviva/Morley investment bonds in early 2005/6 just before teh floor fell out of property and teh banks all went bust!..I seem to rmember a fine as well in tehlast 18 mths or so for the same.
    Yeh lets get those banks selling more and advising less as they dont do enough of that!

  8. Banks do not understand the difference between client demands and need, they only see customers in terms of profitability/ sales opportunity. Staff are pressurised to sell products and meet sales targets or face demotion. Where has Mr Redwood been during the debacle of misselling of PPI?

  9. Well he is clearly not a customer of any of the banks I have worked for! The “Personal Banking Advisers” were under constant pressure to cross-sell and at the end of each day had to give a rundown of each customer seen and which products were sold.

    One sticks in my mind particularly, the customer was a 19 year old hairdresser who lived at home with her parents and had a casual boyfriend but no dependents. She came into the bank to borrow a couple of thousand for a new car. She was sold a packaged bank acc with travel and mobile phone insurance, a loan with PPI, a savings account, life insurance and contents insurance.

    When I questioned the suitability of some of these products I was told it was none of my business and not to say anything so negative or I would be excluded from the meetings in future. The Personal Banking Adviser was praised in front of everyone for her wonderful “service” in “helping” the customer.

  10. Maybe this is clear evidence that RDR was intended to drive the masses into the arms of those caring ‘Bankers’.

  11. Informing customers of additional “services” is one thing. Rampant, high-pressure cross-selling (all too often mis-selling) is quite another.

    If the FSA had any idea about how to prevent such practices, it would ban cold calling, particularly to customers who may have recently deposited a large sum of money into one of their accounts. It should also stipulate that the banks must ensure that their literature explains far more clearly and less ambiguously the limited scope of their financial services, not least by banning them from describing their sales consultants as advisers, which patently they aren’t.

    When it comes to the FSA’s favoured mantra that financial promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading, it seems that an entirely different standard of compliance applies to the banks.

  12. Dear Mr Redwood, some of the things you’ve said in the past have been ok, but this is barking mad! Do you REALLY want to drive a half asleep public into the hands of someone with an appalling mis-selling record?

    If banks were IFAs they’d have been fined with a fine that hurts, not one which they regard as an expense of gaining all that lovely commission, and then banned.

  13. Well that would be fine if the people they speak to at the banks were actually qualified and experienced and not just people with a target and an axe hanging over their head – deja-vu PPI – what an idiot.

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