Pattie Lovett-Reid: What to do if your bank isn't serving you well
What are the sign's your bank is just not that into you and what do you do about it?
Without a doubt, the most frequently asked question I get is "how do I find the right advisor/bank for me?" That can be tough to answer because we are all different, with varying requirements and levels of expertise. But here is what I know for sure: I want to work with someone who understands me emotionally and financially. I don't want someone who just looks at the numbers and plans an agenda according to what they think I should be doing, rather than what I want to be doing with my money. I don't want products or services sold to me that are in the best interest of the financial representative. I want products that are in my best interest and I want to understand why they are suited to me and aligned to my financial plan.
Feelings of mistreatment by financial institutions happen, and caused The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to assess the domestic retail sales practices of Canada’s six largest banks in an effort to identify and evaluate risks to consumers. In other words, the FCAC wanted to ensure misselling wasn't happening and the right products and services were being sold to the right consumers. They looked at suitability and aligned of product to the customers financial goals, needs and circumstances. No one should leave their bank with incomplete, unclear, or misleading information.
The investigation found there was no major wrongdoing by any of the banks in terms of misselling, but that there are "insufficient" controls in place to prevent sales of products that are misrepresented or unsuitable for customers. To be fair, millions of transactions are conducted daily with full satisfaction, but that doesn't mean the banks couldn't be doing a better job with better controls in place to support the banking landscape as it continues to evolve.
As we wait for the banks to play catch up, consumers need to take control of their financial transactions now.
Here are a few signs your bank just isn't that into you as a client:
- There is a lack of proactive communication, especially during periods of market volatility
- They talk at you rather than to you
- They are focused more on their goals then your goals
- They feel you are lucky to have them as your Banker.
What do you do when you feel your relationship with your bank is lacking?
1. Begin by determining exactly what it is you are unhappy about.
- Not enough communication
- Performance lacking
- Investments you don't understand
- No faith in the their knowledge
- Promoting inappropriate products
2. Once you determine what isn't working:
- Call and book an appointment to discuss the issues directly with the bank
- You decide if the problems realistically can be fixed
- If resolved…stay in touch and be proactive to avoid slippage into the old problems and habits
3. If there’s no resolution:
- Start to look for a new bank