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Poll Digest - Other Surveys - Which Financial Product Selling Survey December 2012 Part 1

 Bank staff under ‘more pressure than ever' to sell 

A new Which? investigation of more than 500 front line bank staff reveals that pressure to sell still pervades the culture in the big five banks.
 
The truth about working for Britain’s banks is laid bare as two-thirds (65%) of bank staff who have a sales role and have sales targets say there is now more pressure than ever to meet them, almost half (46%) know colleagues who have mis-sold products in order to meet their targets and four in 10 (40%) say targets drive employees to sell when it’s not appropriate. 
 
We also found that the sales culture remains even after rewards have been taken away; while 41% say the availability of incentives for sales has decreased, eight in ten (81%) say the pressure to meet sales targets has stayed the same or increased. 
 
Which? interviewed branch and call centre staff from the five major banks – HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Santander.
 
Of those who have a sales role (not all have sales targets):
>               Two thirds (64%) say they are always or sometimes told to sell more.
>               The most common reasons for being told to sell more were to hit targets (26%) and increase profits (16%); only 6% said it was because it was in the customer’s interest.
>               Nearly half (45%) sometimes feel they’re expected to sell regardless of whether it’s appropriate or not. 
>               Four in 10 (38%) with targets have ‘power hours’ where they have to make a certain number of sales within a designated period of time.
>               Over a third (37%) are not comfortable with the level of pressure to sell in their role.
 
ComRes interviewed 551 front line bank staff who have daily interactions with customers, by telephone between 22nd October and 4th December 2012. 371 respondents have a sales role, and of those 298 have sales targets. Respondents were selected from HSBC, RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and Barclays.