Since the financial crisis in 2008 the quality of customer consultancy services in retail banking has moved more and more into public and political attention. This has lead to an intensification of rules and regulations concerning customer consultancy. In consequence the retail sector of banks is subjected to a whole set of new requirements. These rules primarily aim at a permanent quality improvement of holistic customer services in branch banks.

The compliance with formalities is checked by the Federal Agency for Financial Market Supervision (BaFin) with the help of surveys based on standardized questionnaires. Further the BaFin is planning to use undercover customers for test consultancies. Due to the fact that this implies a great effort, the BaFin will most likely continue to limit its checks on control samples in the area of investment advisory services. For this reason area-wide information on the quality of customer consultancy in other fields than in investment advisory services have not been existent for years.

In 2010 the Institute has started a first nationwide study on the quality of customer consultancy within the retail banking. For this purpose the Institute used professional test-customers, who did not limit themselves on investment advisory questions during their counseling interviews. Due to the strong response on our survey and to test the reliability of the results we repeated the study in the following years, including an even larger amount of cities. The latest study including all details on the applied methods can be found in the “Quality-Atlas of Retail Banking 2013” and ordered for a nominal charge in our section “Studies”.

Apart from the required tests for the creation of our “Quality-Atlas” the Institute offers a validation of these results to interested banks by carrying out selective “inhouse-tests”. These contain test purchases and intensive branch bank visits which are focused on the quality improvement of existing processes with regard to holistic customer services.

Beyond these core activities we understand ourselves as partners for further improvement approaches and new ideas concerning the operative business of branch banks. These can include binding, practical and customer orientated consultancy-screenplays for several areas (such as “transparent manufactory of the future” or “transparent performance bonds”).

In case you have any questions or if you are interested in our services Dr. Andreas Beck (andreas.beck@institut-va.de, 0049 (0) 89 4613 9170) will be happy to help you at any time.

Location of all 300 tested cities with colored ranks of the best institutional groups.

Source: Institut für Vermögensaufbau, “Quality-Atlas of Retail Banking 2013”