Culture change for salespeople in the financial services industry: a past, present and future perspective
23rd April 2017 | Duncan Steel and Roger Brooksbank
Based on anecdotal evidence, personal observation and experience, the authors examine the challenges still being faced by some of the UK’s leading financial institutions in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis – specifically, their need to navigate high standards of ethicality in the way their sales operations are organised and executed while also maintaining their effectiveness.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, in September 2012 the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) reported that most banks, building societies and insurance companies still had schemes that encouraged staff to sell products and services that were not always in their customers’ best interests. This created something of a conflict of interest for managers who were overseeing sales standards while concurrently being rewarded for higher sales figures.
A year later, in September 2013, Martin Wheatley, then Chief Executive of the newly formed Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) addressed an audience of senior industry leaders. Picking up on this topic, he encouraged attendees to consider terminating any reward schemes that might lead to poor sales behaviour. This resulted in the introduction of five industry guidelines: