More than half of bank staff say they have seen customers steered towards financial products that they may not need, in order to reach sales targets, a new survey has revealed.
According to a survey of 3,200 bank, financial service and insurance employees, conducted by the Finance Sector Union (FSU), Australians are being sold unnecessary products due to extreme performance targets.
“The ‘Do you want fries with that’ mentality is alive and well in the Australian finance sector, despite ballooning levels of personal debt,” said FSU national secretary Leon Carter.
Such an approach to sales of financial products is completely at odds with the notion of responsible lending and professional service, Mr Carter said.
“Finance sector base rates of pay are not high. Employees can’t afford to miss out on bonuses and performance pay,” he said.
According to the survey, the vast majority of employees in the sector – 88 per cent – say one quarter of their income is generated by sales.
“This is a pay model that should have been abandoned during the GFC. Instead our biggest, wealthiest finance companies, who continue to post multi-billion dollar profits, are intent on wringing as much out of the community as they can, using FSU members as a conduit. That sort of behaviour is not on, and must cease now,” Mr Carter said.
The survey also found that 90 per cent of employees in bank, insurance and financial services want greater recognition of their professional customer service when measuring performance while 81 per cent believe financial incentives such as bonuses should be awarded for service and professionalism rather than hitting sales targets.