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Craig Donaldson, Chief Executive of Metro Bank, comments on the FSA's new initiative to outlaw flawed sales bonuses that encourage miss-selling by bank branch staff

4th September 2012

“We welcome the FSA’s focus on selling in bank branches. Banks should exist to serve their customers, not the other way around.

“If you incentivise your staff to sell, you shouldn't be surprised when they miss-sell. Put simply, if you tell branch staff that they can double their take home pay by selling a specific product, then they will sell a specific product, regardless of whether the product is suitable. Metro Bank incentivises store staff on giving amazing customer service, measured by regular mystery shopping. This means that our staff focus entirely on problem solving, rather than product pushing.

“This problem is a cultural one, and the change needs to come from the very top of financial institutions. A culture of customer care can’t be delivered in a day and can’t be a surface fix. Banks need to reconsider every action and ask themselves whether what they do is designed to benefit the customer, or benefit their bottom line.

“Profit should be the by-product of doing something well, rather than the entire reason for a business, and this seems to be something many banks have forgotten. Customers are telling us they are fed up of being seen as cash cows existing simply to feed bank balance sheets. That is why they are joining us.

“Metro Bank delivers a return to service, not sales. It’s time to put customers back at the heart of banking; a customer should feel valued every time they interact with their bank, whether they call them up, go online or walk through the door. The fact that we’re growing so quickly can attest to the fact that customers are looking for credible banking alternatives. It truly is time for a banking revolution. “