Banks do not focus on customers, says OFT chief – New Model Adviser®

Rather, the problem is that they view customers as a “means to an end” – a common complaint about firms across Financial Services!

The “shift”, that has taken place over many years, and accelerated courtesy of “light-touch Regulation”, saw the focus move from responsible lending to misrepresenting debt as credit and widespread mis-selling at every scale:

Earning loyalty and trust by serving customers with products that added value is a long, slow, process – stable and sustainable (win/win).

Chasing and retaining market share, based upon indebtedness and inertia is cheap and fast – fragile, volatile and unsustainable (lose/win).

Fingleton said that the financial crisis has worsened the situation and that concentration had increased across most banking markets.

‘At the heart of the concerns about these markets is a lack of ‘customer focus’ on the part of providers,’ he said. ‘We still have a banking sector where competition is manifestly not working well for consumers.’

He warned that ‘if we do not see real change from banks, then a more radical approach needs to be considered.’

via Banks do not focus on customers, says OFT chief – New Model Adviser®.

SMEs entering 2012 with mixed emotion – AXA Commercial Lines

This is particularly bad news for “a nation of shopkeepers” and a damning indictment of the strategies adopted by insurers and brokers alike!

Instead of incentivising and rewarding a culture of loss prevention, which serves EVERYONE well, the insurance industry sold themselves and their customers short in its indecent haste to satisfy their own, short term, financial goals. And the insurance industry “knows” about tail risk!!!

Who actually benefits from buying “risk protection”? Please take a look at some of the “related articles” below and consider whether businessno-trust-300x225 owners who have access to unprecedented amounts of information on a wide range of “risk” subjects are, generally, more “stupid” or just particularly poorly served and advised!?

“When it comes to the fortunes of the UK’s SMEs, there is a more complex picture out there than the headlines would lead us to believe. It’s not all doom and gloom for sure. However there is a real need for valuable advice when it comes to risk management given the fact that, when asked to identify key risks facing their business, nearly a quarter of UK SMEs (23%) couldn’t name a single one. I find this quite staggering. In my view it means that brokers have a major role to play in helping their clients to both understand the risks their businesses face during these difficult times as well as manage them.”

via SMEs entering 2012 with mixed emotion says AXA Commercial Lines.