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Bank Employees Under Pressure: Sales vs. Service?

April 12, 2017
Financial advisor explaining finances to young woman

Bank Employees Under Pressure: Sales vs. Service?

Do sales goals get in the way of a financial institution’s promise to put clients’ interests first?  Can banks and credit unions align their priorities and interest with that of the consumers?

Twisted Priorities

The banking industry has been shaken up in recent months by scandal and controversy.   The recent spotlight was triggered by television news reports and newspaper articles about aggressive sales practices occurring within most of the big banks.

The following quotes are from a March 15th CBC investigative article:

  • “Employees from all five of Canada’s big banks have flooded Go Public with stories of how they feel pressured to upsell, trick and even lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets and keep their jobs.  The deluge is fuelling multiple calls for a parliamentary inquiry, even as the banks claim they’re acting in customers’ best interests.  In nearly 1,000 emails, employees from RBC, BMO, CIBC, TD and Scotiabank at locations across Canada describe the pressures to hit targets that are monitored weekly, daily and in some cases hourly.”
  • “Management is down your throat all the time,” said a Scotiabank financial advisor. “They want you to hit your numbers and it doesn’t matter how.”
  • “Employees at several RBC branches in Calgary said there are whiteboards posted in the staff room that list which financial advisors are meeting their sales targets and which advisors are coming up short.”
  • “Whether being threatened by pay cuts, demotion or actual job loss, these employees are forced to do whatever they can to reach these ‘unrealistic sales targets’ set from upper management.  I’m in survival mode now,” says a teller who has worked at one of the big banks for more than 15 years, “because it’s a choice between keeping my job and feeding my family…. or doing what’s right for the customer.”

Proudly Independent for over 20 years

“As financial advisors serving the Cornwall community and surrounding area, we strive to provide the region with specific financial services based around each client’s specific needs” Although high-pressure sales tactics within the banking industry are currently in the media, they are nothing new.  However, demand to meet these “unrealistic” quarterly goals has intensified in recent years as lower profits from a low-interest environment have forced banks to look for ever-increasing sales.  We would like to take this opportunity to remind our clients to be aware of these twisted priorities when dealing with any of the banks. Your individual custom retirement plan, investment management and overall estate plan should not be entangled with sales tactics. At Ming and Associates, we have no proprietary products which result in no conflict of interest when dealing with different investment management or life insurance companies.


We have always maintained that independent financial advice offers Canadians the best value and unbiased advice proposition.  We feel very fortunate to be able to deal with our clients without having to worry about the many issues facing bank employees and look forward to providing sound unbiased advice for years to come.

It is our strong belief that to be successful in reaching your goals it is necessary to have a plan in place and to follow a process. That is, to make your life and financial decisions not by accident but by design.

Remember, successful people ACT towards the future they want!

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