Barclays Bank to take over trust-based financial planning – oh yes?
arclays Bank has moved its tanks (a 900-strong regiment of ‘Financial Planning Managers’) onto the independent financial advisers’ lawn. Barclays’ National Sales Director has told an industry conference (PIMS) that it has the people, ‘sales training programme’, processes and ‘open-architecture’ products in place to dominate the IFAs’ high-net-worth client segment. Could this be the same Barclays Bank whose people and processes were secretly filmed by Channel 4, responding to deliberate management incentives to sell unwanted and poor-value services to anyone foolish enough to wander into a branch? See my post on the programme.
The fact the Barclays managers not only could not control their sales force but set up perverse incentives was hardly a shock but this was significant because they were caught in flagrante delicto. So what sort of rumpus ensued? None that I can see. This proves the point in our briefing on the FSA’s latest attempt to deal with commission bias in the UK (today’s earlier post): unless consumers vote with their feet, businesses will continue to take advantage of them.