Investigative research in the financial industry: customer fraud in financial advice

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Financial advice, financial analysis, stock prices, Riester pension - for many customers who want to deal with retirement, a real maze. At the same time, the machinations of the financial industry are by no means reliable, as this investigative research reveals.

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Here writes for you:


Malte Kruger Best of HR –®Malte Krüger is a writer, a linguist, a specialist in political rhetoric and dialectics. He leads with two partners a private school in Neumünster in adult education.


From the author:



The machinations of the financial industry

Actually, I just wanted to make provisions for my pension. Riester and Rürup pensions are not considered profitable from the consumer's point of view and are still recommended. This is no wonder if you take into account the specialist knowledge of the financial advisor - there is virtually no training, as this investigative research in the financial industry reveals.

In order to really understand the world of stocks and funds, I then researched and worked undercover in the financial industry. What I discovered really scared me. For example in my training as a financial advisor.

Because my first finance training in the vocational training center confirms exactly my expectation. It is focused on sales and not on expert advice. The topic is: building savings. Some 30 prospective financial advisors sit in the classroom, and the lecturer is eager to know what the client will get when they sign a home savings contract: the housing premium, the employee savings bonus, the Riester incentive, and the benefits of joint savings.

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The main thing is to exploit potential in asset advice

And in any case Bauspar is a cool product, especially in this low interest rate phase. Following the motto: Just make sure you get the cheap interest rate of today for sometime later, when you need it. In the best case, if the real estate is cheap again, because the interest rates are high again.

With this whole advantage argument, the investment adviser can more easily exploit the potential for building society savings in Germany. Especially as Germany, together with Switzerland, is the absolute tail light in European comparison when it comes to living in one's own four walls. Differentiations are not provided by the lecturer. We do not know what the customer is taken by closing costs and low credit interest.

This is how financial advisors collect career units: Out to the customer

Losses about which the customer apparently should not be informed. Therefore, the conclusion of the lecturer is like a sales order: Each customer must be offered after the analysis Bauspar as well as a Riester product. For the financial advisor, this is a worthwhile business, because building savings is a stornosicheres product and therefore well suited for the hunt for career units. The acquisition of career units is anyway, what's important. Therefore, the lecturer gives me and the other students advice: We should not train ourselves as the perfect financial advisor. We should go out to the customer!

Lechner was right in his assessment. Just like this pseudo-training, the planned role-playing games are canceled. My supervisor does not consider her necessary because of my prior knowledge. He limits himself to going through with me the materials that I've worked through, especially the interview guide for financial analysis with the client. Every investment adviser gets this guide at hand.

Financial advice: this is how you specifically deceive your customers

First, I mime the self-confident experts and make the guide bad. Let's see how my supervisor reacts. I can not work after such a guide. He forces me to crawl the customer with overblown questions in the butt. Especially when it comes to winning recommendations from the customer. I should ask:

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  • Do you like the way the consultation process is based on your wishes and goals?
  • Is this advisory process recommendable in your view?
  • Is there someone you want such advice?

Consultation talk: Focus on manipulation

So crooked a professional as I never would. Finally, I have something to offer, good products and my expertise as a consultant. I would devalue that. My supervisor allows me to act so confidently in a customer conversation and to follow independent paths from the conversation guide.

However, I do not tell him that I find the interview guide to be totally dishonest. He is to pretend that it is not about the sale of products such as Riester or Rürup. Rather, I should give the impression to put the customer in the center, because I have to fulfill as a consultant his wishes. But it is exactly the opposite:

Financial analysis: Six million customers or the evidence of the large number

The customer should turn to the financial advisor because he wants and has to sell him a product. The financial analysis only serves to find starting points for product sales and to claim the opposite. For this purpose, the financial advisor should first upgrade himself by presenting himself as part of Germany's largest financial service provider. "What do you think, dear customer, are the reasons why we were able to win so many customers in just a few decades?" Why do you think?

It is the usual evidence of the large number that should be put into the customer's mouth. Six million customers can not be wrong. The second step is to introduce the customer to the term investment advice.

Consulting goal: The customer should feel that he is doing the right thing

The aim is to give the customer the feeling that he is doing the right thing when he deals with the subject of wealth creation. At the same time he should learn what belongs to the accumulation of wealth. For this purpose, a consultant should raise awareness of his failures. But also the bad conscience.

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First and foremost, the customer has claims that he knows nothing about. For example, to the state. So he loses money, and the job of the financial adviser is to remind him. How friendly of him.

The investment adviser in the role of helper

This is how the financial advisor gradually builds up his role as a helper. It wouldn't work without him. The market is too confusing. The competition is too numerous. There is the bank advisor, the insurance advisor and the building society advisor. A customer could turn to everyone. But does that lead to overcoming the confusion that the confusing market creates? No. Because the evil competition wants only one thing: to sell the customer a product. But where does the customer stay with his individual needs? Nowhere. But there is a solution. The investment advisor: "What distinguishes us from all providers is that the focus is not on the products, but on your personal wishes and goals."

According to Lechner's report, this conversation strategy seems all the more like a cunning deception of the customer. As soon as the financial advisor has flattered the client with this method, he begins to tighten the circles. That's why he introduces the advisory timetable: 1. Inventory, 2. Evaluation, 3. Consulting, 4. Asset realization and 5. Customer service. The asset advisor should also place the image of the navigator, who takes the customer by the hand and leads him step by step to asset accumulation.

Manipulate customers

A comparison with a caring doctor is also useful. “What do you expect a doctor to do before giving you a prescription? Correct. A thorough investigation. For us, that's a financial analysis. ” Then both start like a doctor and a patient. In any case, I'm not going to get involved in a financial distribution for my retirement provision that I know will guide his advisors to manipulate me as a customer in his sales interest. It has nothing to do with finding my needs honestly.

But why is the customer being manipulated? Because the products are not good enough? A manipulation is in my understanding, the influence against the interests of the Affected, and that is necessary in sales, if a seller has something to hide. A good product does not have to be tampered with. It sells by itself.

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  1. Clarissa

    The financial industry is extremely exciting.

  2. Frida

    With everything going wrong in Germany, it's no wonder that so much is happening in the financial sector.

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