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Michael King | Sales tactics at the bank crossing the line

  • CBC Ontario Today
  • |
  • Mar 10, 2017
Michael King | Sales tactics at the bank crossing the line

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A recent CBC report about TD employees breaking the law to meet high sales goals has raised concerns about the way banking is evolving.

Associate Professor Michael King tells CBC Ontario Today the pressure to sell might extend to frontline workers at many financial institutions and may be prompted by banks learning more about their customers via data analytics.

“I think this is a general problem or an issue that will be coming up in a number of different financial service firms. With low interest rates and increasing competition, they’re all going to be looking to try and get more out of their customers, which means cross-selling,” he says.

King was a guest on the 50-minute open-line show, which included anecdotes and questions from callers across the province. He shared his own personal experience from his time in investment banking, when he says he was pressured to lie to a corporate customer to win its business.

He says today’s situation demands action from the top.

“I’d like to see senior bank management – the CEOs – come out and say, ‘We put our customers first. We don’t condone this behaviour,’” says King. “It’s really hard not to be upset about this. As someone who teaches students at business school about the importance of, not only doing what’s right, legally, but also what’s right, ethically, this is clearly wrong and I think we need to hear more about how pervasive this problem is.”