Thursday, October 30, 2008

the rogue sellers

source: DBS taking swift action (STI 30 Oct 08)

DBS has started to compensate certain customers for being mis-sold financial products that were made worthless, and also removed relationship managers that are at fault.

i'm all for the removal of the rogue salespeople, if proven to be at fault. At fault meaning, sold the same product to a sizable customers in a segment (in terms of invested dollars) without doing proper financial assessment, and faced more than 1 complaint in this saga.

have seen many staff peddling some of these structured products to customers who walked into the bank to do basic banking. Some probably signed on because of the promise of good returns.

i'm not saying the customers have no fault. We are all greedy people, frankly. But if those relationship managers or bank executives glossed over details of the plan to any people, whether uncles, aunties, grandpa or grandma, just to get the share of the commission or trailer fees - they ought to be let go. It's just dishonest living (cheating) through a legitimate way (using the bank or FI's name). Anyway, they have earned enough through these years of high-end selling.

at the end of the day, tighter controls are required on both sides i feel. Salespeople in this industry have to be ethical through checks and balances. Probably record or tape down the sales conversation, a wild idea. Once there is a suspected case of wrongdoing, reduce/remove/recover all the commissions or trailer fees due to the seller. The best way is to remove the idea of commissions for financial products completely, because there is a conflict of interest between the buyer and seller. For the educated customers, use your eyes before signing on the dotted line of any agreement.

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