Are Bank Reps seen as Competition?

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Feb 23, 2009 6:30 am

I work in a bank investment program as a rep.

Recently, management made the comment that I am “competition” in their eyes.

This shocked me, since before I was hired, I warned some banks thought this way and specifically asked if they saw the bank rep as someone who would deplete their deposit base, and they said “No, we don’t care what side the money is on - the retail side in the bank, or the investment side, we just want it to stay in the bank”.

I pointed out that 90% of by business is from outside the bank - i.e., accounts I bring in from UBS, ML, etc., and that many times, I have walked people over to the bank side to purchase CDs when appropriate (I’m not allowed to sell brokered CDs). I also recently had a business client transfer his 1mil+ account from Sovereign to our bank.

I’m seeing things in a new light now since this comment was made. The program has not been supported by management - with, time, effort, resources, or finances. The bank also is unwilling to set goals for the investment program, although they have goals for checking accounts, CDs, deposits, etc.

They are also very unwilling to promote - or allow me to promote - the referral program through training or top-down endorsement. I thought part of the reason rep went to bank programs was because of the referral program and deposit base. Maturing CD lists are out of the question, so there is NO access to current bank clients.

It bothers me that when a bank client calls and says they want to cash out their old 401K because of the market and roll it to a CD, they just say OK, and don’t even mention perhaps they should talk with the investment person first. Who can blame them, I guess, they are trying to meet their goal, and suitability is never an issue on the bank side, although it should be.

It seems they just want a rep to come in and magically make the program work by finding people outside the bank, although they “allow” little advertising or seminars (every move is tightly controlled by bank management).

Is this usual behavior for a bank?

I know that they have their “own” goals that they get compensated on, but I see us all as one, and this is just one department in the bank. Their comment makes it seem like they don’t see it that way. Quite a turn from what I was told. I see no way to change this attitude other than showing them where the assets come from that I invest, and keeping a list of what business I bring to the bank side.

Feb 23, 2009 11:03 am

You work for BofA? Unless you are part of the profit center you ARE competition…

Feb 23, 2009 11:29 am

Is this usual behavior for a bank?

  Unfortunately, yes.  Although you asked the right questions and they gave you the right answers, it's easy to see now that you were lied to (imagine that).  Based on what you've discovered, what is keeping you there and better yet, what is keeping you from going independent and keeping a lot more of the fruits of your labors?
Feb 23, 2009 6:27 pm

relationship building with the bank staff is critical. if they like you and care about you they will send business your way. it takes time.

Feb 23, 2009 7:00 pm

This has the smell of BofA.  Just to prove my point how many BAI guys recieved referrals from the 6 Billion in maturing CD’s this weekend from our national call day?  I’ll let other’s answer that question cause I allready know the answer. 

Feb 23, 2009 7:43 pm

Yep, retraining bankers is a pain in the a$$ they don’t understand how much business they are leaving on the table because they don’t want us to “compete” for their IRA deposits.  I told them and their wives to their faces that CDs are not considered investments and should be considered an inappropriate long-term vehicle for retirement.

If you want to curry favor, start figuring out your company's trust and institutional cash management platform, make the bankers drool...
Feb 23, 2009 10:08 pm
Vin Diesel:

relationship building with the bank staff is critical. if they like you and care about you they will send business your way. it takes time.

  Tell that to my boss!
Feb 23, 2009 10:08 pm

the problem with retraining bankers is that, by the time you have 1 up and running, they leave the next day.  it takes a lot of time and can be frustrating.  the only real model that i have found out that works is that you help cross sell and refer the bankers back business that refer you business.   once you start doing this more people with be open to sending you investment business.