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'Bullying' banking conduct

Advocating for your client is a fundamental aspect of being an adviser – even if that means making yourself "a pain in the arse", writes Jon-Paul Hale.

Friday, December 4th 2020, 3:25PM 1 Comment

Jon-Paul Hale

This is about us, advisers and brokers, and a disturbing theme that I have had in the communications from advisers out there.

As a life adviser, I have no problem, or trouble, advocating for my clients. As Susan Edmunds put it in ASSET, I’m "a pain in the arse, and proud of it!"

Insurers expect that advisers will advocate for clients, and they tolerate the noise we make. Get abusive and unreasonable; they take action about that. But advocating for a client is expected.

What has been rather disturbing are the comments I have had from the mortgage broking community, through many channels, once they understood what I was doing with ANZ.

The most common comment was along the lines of, "I wonder if your accreditation with ANZ is going to survive?" It’s a good thing I’m not a mortgage broker and don’t have one then!

But this raises a serious point, especially with the new rules coming in.

A broker not being able to advocate for their client when ANZ, or any provider – is an unreasonable bully – is a problem. This is the fear of their accreditation being revoked and impacting their ability to operate their business. If this is the case, we have a serious conduct issue that needs to be addressed.

And I am focused on ANZ with this one, as the general feeling I got was it was more of an issue with ANZ than the rest.

A mortgage broker, the expert on the client’s mortgage and banking services, not being able to fully assist a client who is having trouble with their bank is not how this is supposed to work.

By taking a client to assist them with a complaint against their bank, the reality that my business as a mortgage broker would be at risk is just astoundingly unreasonable.

It speaks to the sheer arrogance of the banking industry when this is the most common comment I have heard from mortgage brokers on the ANZ issue I have.

It also says that the culture and conduct review of financial services product providers is well overdue.

If anything, it also needs to include protections for financial services professionals assisting clients with complaints. Retaliatory action by banks and insurers needs to be kept in check. It’s the good advisers that are most impacted by this.

It is one thing to regulate culture and conduct for advice for advisers; it’s quite another to face being blacklisted for sorting a client complaint with your providers.

I’m pretty outspoken, and I don’t tolerate abuse on any level. However, if I need to get the boxing gloves on, I also have no hesitation there either.

As a financial services professional focused on clients, my bread and butter is happy clients with good outcomes. Providers being corporate bullies is something we need to address and if required, run out of town.

I’m sure there are many reading this that know and understand what I am talking about, the pity is most won’t comment for fear of the retaliation I am talking about too.

POSTSCRIPT
With regards to Jon-Paul Hale's earlier post about his issue with a bank – he says after six weeks it is still ongoing.

"I still haven’t had the client’s file information provided by ANZ," he says.

"So far it feels like a butter sandwich, lots of grease but no meat. More on that in another article as that’s the extent of the update; still no change from ANZ and I have a client where the building may stop."

Tags: ANZ Jon-Paul Hale Lending Mortgage Advisers Opinion

« Privacy and process why it is crucial to your businessPros and cons with life policy structures »

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Comments from our readers

On 9 December 2020 at 3:13 pm JPHale said:
PPS, I have now had the client file from ANZ it arrived after 4pm the day this was published by GR, I submitted this article for publishing on the 2nd of December, 6 weeks after the initial information request was sent to ANZ.

So it took 6 1/2 weeks to receive a response to an information request that is supposed to take 20 days, with it taking the Banking Ombudsman to be involved to get that response.

The original request and the follow up was to the ANZ official information enquiry email, the one ANZ gave me to use.

So the best people at ANZ trained for managing privacy with requests and information release have delivered this level of service. This very very poor level of service.

Remember this is a 27-year-old piece of legislation. So none of this should have been an issue or delayed.

I even had a response out of IRD relating to this same case with a three (3) day response.

It is just ANZ hanging in the wind on this one at this point. Bloody shocking performance!

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AIA 4.55 2.25 2.59 2.89
ANZ 4.44 2.85 3.19 3.49
ANZ Special - 2.25 2.59 2.89
ASB Bank 4.45 2.25 2.59 2.89
Basecorp Finance 5.49 - - -
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BNZ - Classic - ▼2.25 ▼2.55 2.79
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BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 ▼2.85 ▼3.15 3.39
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CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
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Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50 1.99 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.40 3.50 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.25 2.35 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - 2.25 - -
ICBC 3.69 2.25 2.35 2.65
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Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.40 3.20 ▼3.40 ▲3.64
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.35 ▼2.55 ▲2.79
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank 4.54 2.79 2.99 3.29
SBS Bank Special - 2.29 2.49 2.79
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.09 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 ▼2.25 2.59 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 ▼2.75 3.09 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.05 3.29 ▲3.59
TSB Special 4.54 2.25 2.49 ▲2.79
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 ▼2.85 3.19 3.49
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
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Westpac Special - ▼2.25 2.59 2.89
Median 4.55 2.71 2.99 2.89

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