Banking staff need to improve professionalism: ifs

The chief executive of the Institute of Financial Services, the training organisation for finance professionals, said the emergence of new players in the sector was putting pressure for an improvement in the professionalism of staff at ground level.

She was speaking after figures released by the ifs showed that more than 12,000 frontline banking staff obtained the organisation’s certificate in banking conduct.

Ms Kiem said the parliamentary commission on banking standards had highlighted the work that needed to be done to improve training across the industry.

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She added: “One of the commission’s lines of enquiry has been around the extent to which those working within the banks are appropriately qualified. These figures show how specialist and relevant professional qualifications are vital for enhancing professionalism and raising standards in the sector.

“However it is not just about raising standards. In today’s competitive retail banking sector, with new players entering the market, providing higher levels of customer service will be key in enabling organisations to retain their existing customers and attract new ones. ”

Adviser comment
Gordon Bowden, director of Buckinghamshire-based Quainton Hills Financial Planning, said: “I don't think that a lack of training for frontline staff is the main problem with banking. It is the underlying culture, dictated by management, where staff have to sell products and meet targets, and that will be very difficult to change.”