FSA: Retail Financial Services Must Get Sales Incentive Programmes Right

The Financial Services Authority / Financial Conduct Authority has finally confirmed that its tougher rules on sales incentives will apply to firms and networks providing financial advice, including investment management. It has never been more important for banks and other financial institutions to review their incentive programmes, making sure they are delivering the best possible customer service and avoiding the risk of mis-selling.

The FSA/FCA surveyed 22 large and small firms before producing guidance. Martin Wheatley from the FSA said: “This guidance applies to all firms in retail financial services with staff [who] deal directly with retail customer transactions. This includes those involved in selling products or providing a service, advisers and those in discretionary and non-discretionary investment management roles.” Both directly authorised firms and appointed representatives are covered by the new guidance.

Weaknesses were identified in 20 of the firms surveyed and have highlighted the importance of combining a sales incentive with optimum customer service. Martin Wheatley added: “If they have not done so already, firms need to look at this guidance now, work out how it applies to them and what they should do differently.”

Companies such as Full Circle Motivation are already ahead of the game, motivating staff and channels to sell more and deliver superb customer service at the same time. Their sales incentive programmes are tailored for UK or pan European salesforces and feature staff recognition and engagement; training; developing team culture and improving standards as well as customer service.

Full Circle claims to put ideas, words and pictures together to speak volumes about clients’ business. Furthermore, the incentives they run are designed to at least self-liquidate but in practice incremental business usually runs at upwards of plus 13%.

Full Circle can also deliver programmes that motivate without reward – just what the FSA is keen to promote.