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:

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Duncan Steel is a strategic adviser to the financial services industry working with private, corporate, commercial and consumer banks to build and sustain sales force effectiveness.

Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Waikato | + posts

Roger Brooksbank BA, MBA, Dip M, PhD is currently Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, with previous experience as a sales executive, sales manager, sales and marketing manager, marketing director and business owner. His research interests lie in all aspects of strategic marketing and business competitiveness and he is the author or co-author of over 200 publications in these areas, including six books. He has also acted as an independent marketing consultant, seminar leader, conference speaker or sales trainer to more than 90 clients throughout Europe and Australasia in both the private and public sectors. In his role as a professional educator, Roger has taught a variety of marketing courses at all levels and he is a recipient of his School’s Outstanding Teaching Award.