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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Banks Can't Even Be Bothered For The Rich

Oh those poor, poor bankers. Now, we're told by Spear's, that the new 'retail distribution' rules have made their lives so complicated they even have to stop fleecing servicing wealthy customers. Bernie Madoff must be relieved to have got out before the well ran dry.

Ironically, for a magazine that bills itself as "the essential resource for high net worths", Spear's argues the bankers' case. The article seeks to persuade wealthy readers to stop being so demanding if they wish to avoid being 'managed out' by private bankers who find them too costly to serve. In particular, customers must stop expecting services aligned to their needs and behave in a way that suits the banks: 
  • agree what the banker will do for you up front, then wait for the quarterly reports and limit any discussion to those times instead of pestering for more frequent advice;
  • don't change your instructions (the banks already chew through 3% of your return by making 'adjustments' to your portfolio, so don't make it worse); and
  • behave as if you're part of a team - cut your banker some slack when he is slow to realise gains or avert losses and, most importantly, recommend him to your friends (bankers just love the bandwagon effect).
Puzzling, until you realise where Spear's probably gets most of its advertising revenue.

Definitely a sign that yet another area of the financial services market is ripe for innovation by facilitators.

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