View Full Version : Taking advice from a bank.

Marvin the Robot
12th Feb 2006, 14:25
I'm not much good with financial matters.

Wandered into the bank the other day. Can't give names here, I guess, but it begins with Hal. Used to be a Building Society.

When the cashier had finished with my request, she asked how long it was since I'd looked at my account(s) and asked if I wanted to make an appointment with their Finacial Advisor "to review my investments". Her supervisor had taken an interest at this point and backed up this advice. All very intimidating, in a way, though maybe I shouldn't see it that way.

Is this something I should arrange, or are they trying to con me in some way? When I say "con" I obviously don't mean anything illegal, but there must be something in it for them, surely?

Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks. :)

12th Feb 2006, 14:28
Some advice I was given a while ago regarding investments is never have your mortgage and savings/investment throught the same bank or financial institution. The rationale was should things go horribly wrong, any savings you have aren't readily accesible to the lender.

12th Feb 2006, 14:41
Many, many years ago, the said institution received the Golden Arse award from Mayfair adult magazine in the nomination "the stingiest bank in Britain" ;)
P.S. Mandatory disclosure: past earnings are no guarantee of future performance

12th Feb 2006, 14:50
By all means LISTEN to their advice (provided it doesn't cost you!) but, before you DO anything, consider whether their advice is for YOUR benefit or theirs and then consider whether OTHER institutions could offer better deals.

The facts are, that new customers (and new accounts) are granted better rates than existing customers who just leave their money dormant. Of course they get 'brownie points' (and maybe financial incentives) for transferring your money into new ventures, so be aware that they might not be completely honest with you.

It doesn't hurt to LISTEN.

Non Normal
12th Feb 2006, 15:04
Go and listen to what they have to say. However, if they were so brilliant at investing, they wouldn't be working - they'd have retired, or busy investing their own money, wouldn't they?

12th Feb 2006, 16:55
Don't forget, the first question you should ask is "are you an independent financial advisor".
By law, they have to tell you before they start any discussion, but I've found that not all of them do.

If they're not independent, It will be as Speechless two says about them selling own brand products.
Independent advisors can advise you on anything on the market. (but of course, they still get their cut)

12th Feb 2006, 17:15
Sorry to digress, isn't the title of the thread an oxymoron thingy?

12th Feb 2006, 17:16
Speechless - have you checked to see who supplies M&S with their insurance facility?

13th Feb 2006, 01:48
As has been pointed out, it's chiefly about targets.

If you agree to cross their threshold for a meeting with a 'financial advisor' (see note above), said financial advisor gets a point towards meeting a monthly target, as does the receptionist/teller who set you up.

I had one recently, walked in, told her that I use an IFA who looked after me really well, thanked her for the offer of coffee, but wouldn't be necessary. Result - she had another 'review' notched up, I got out of the rain for ten minutes.

The good lady wife used to work for a High St bank, until the constantly ramped-up demands to meet targets got too much for her health. The only advice I'm prepared to accept from my bank is "Take your money, Mr diginagain, enjoy your sail around the World. Have a nice day".

13th Feb 2006, 08:29

just a thought. If you use a mortgage offset account and things go pear shaped then you have lost nothing as they can only take what you owe which in this case is the debt minus the money in the offset account. In this case you will still have the asset of the house to raise cash against should you need to and just end up back where you are. If you have the accounts with seperate institutions and the one with your money goes pear shaped then you still have the full mortgage and no money.

I'd check out your adviser again.

:suspect: :(

13th Feb 2006, 08:33
It isn't just the Halifax that does this. Both the TSB and the Abbey do it as well. I suspect the other banks do so too. In fact because I don't go into the TSB branch very often, I've even been rung up and sent a letter arranging a meeting with the branch manager to 'review investments'.

Usually it takes two missed appointments for them to give up... :hmm:

13th Feb 2006, 09:09
I was invited into an interview once, ended up with a stakeholder pension and an ISA. Which did quite well.

The same bank however also allowed me rediculously sized loans, and my bank manager ( I have always got on well with them) once contacted me to apply for a platinum card as he hadn't reached his targets of applications for the quarter and was going to be in trouble. Woman + credit card + shopping = trouble!

Go for the meeting, take the info, check out the pro's and con's then decide. Don't sign anything there and then.

Evening Star
13th Feb 2006, 09:22
Interesting thread seeing as I have an appointment for a financial review this week. Was already cynical ... anything pushed hard by the bank with freebies attached has got to represent big profit for the bank. However, have done my homework and have a list of things I want, so could be interesting what happens.

Go for the meeting, take the info, check out the pro's and con's then decide. Don't sign anything there and then.

Seems like sound advice to me. Or maybe only sign what you were previously prepared to sign?

As for Halifax/BoS, steadfastly refuse to touch them ever since BoS panicked in September 2001, pulled the plug on Gill Air and thus 'inconvenienced' some people I know. Maybe all banks would do the same, but in the circumstances BoS appeared very much a fair weather friend at a time when the entire industry was in turmoil.

13th Feb 2006, 09:24
My bank manager had a chat with me once, said that the bank was supposed to be looking after my money, not the other way around. Fortunately Mrs GDI works for one of the big high street guys and so I defer to her financial responsibility.
She never gives me enough pocket money though...


Ropey Pilot
13th Feb 2006, 09:30
Agree that the bank will only be after your money - but maybe to your benefit, you don't know till you ask.

I have had a large sum of money (from a house sale) in my account for a week or so. Bank called me up and asked if I wanted a savings account with much higher interest. As it happens I was going to move it anyway and declined - but I don't see what harm it would have done me otherwise.

Sometimes they make their money by keeping you happy:)

13th Feb 2006, 09:32
I work for a large bank, albeit in the Wholesale Financial Markets division. the retail guys work on targets. The branch has to reach targets (number of new accounts, mortgages, upsells to premium banking etc) and my guess is your current account has a healthy balance, or you are on their system as a high earner. They will probalby try to sell you "premium banking" - a way of paying for a service you get for free, or an investment product such as a high yield bond or savings account. Buyer beware - shop around and work out what products you want or need. The question I always ask is if I have managed this long without this product / service why do I need it now? FWIW I find the ING Direct savings account brilliant - I use the Internet to sweep over any excess cash from my bank acocunt every month via direct debit or manual instruction and come Christmas / holidays / bad Barclaycard months I simply sweep it back to my current account! Works a treat for me and pays a LOT more interest than a current account

13th Feb 2006, 09:40
Modern day banking is, to a large extent, automatic and computer generated. When your available cash goes above a certain number then the bank's own financial advisor's are alerted automatically through their internal system and you move up one notch in their estimation. The banks see you as a possible target from which they can make money, if the market conditions are good you will make some too! Rest assured, if you enter into any kind of managed fund agreement with them their fees will be deducted regardless, I had over two years of 'negative growth' but they still took out their fees, I paid them to lose my money!!!

13th Feb 2006, 10:13
Until a few weeks ago I had been a Halifax customer for the last twenty years and still have the shares they gave me when they went public. It is therefore against my own interest when I say that they have gone downhill since they became a bank and are using all kinds on scams to increase profits. E.g. my wife had a Halifax credit card and found it almost impossibe to avoid paying interest, even though she paid up within the stipulated time. We have never paid interest on Barclaycards which we have used the same way for over twenty years.

Although I said that I would never use Halifax again, I am setting up ISA's for the kids as they offer the best interest rate at the moment.

13th Feb 2006, 10:39
Never ever trust your money to a financial adviser.

The only reason they are so keen to have a chat with you is because they are going to make more money out of your money than you are.

Instead of taking the bank's advice why not do something useful with your money ? - spend it and go flying !

13th Feb 2006, 14:10
The trouble is, I never get any advice from my bank. Just entries on my monthly statement: charges...overdrawn. And the odd phone call obviously...

But you'd think that would have been the moment they'd call you to offer a short-term low-interest loan instead of having to fork out all those penalties. Remind me, whose interests are we talking about...? :rolleyes: