Feeding before moral!
If you type in “losers of the financial crisis” at google.com you will find many articles about all kinds of different losers that have suffered due to the crisis. There are the poor millionaires who lost half their fortune, women who feel discriminated by the new stimulus package of Barack Obama, bank chairmen who were used to bonus payments in the amount of millions and got now laid back or even arrested by the Public Prosecution Service and even the nannies and personal yoga coaches who are on the top of everybody’s cross-off list had to fear for their jobs. The situation is still strained, even four years after the big meltdown.
Everybody knows the feeling of uncertainty if an appointment for a professional finance advice is scheduled. This uncertainty increased extremely due to the financial crisis. Questions like: ”Do I really get a customer-oriented advice?”,- “Is this product the right choice for me?”, and “Are there no hidden risks?” are familiar to all of us. These thoughts are justified because one of the consequences of the banking crisis was that many banks are now depending on the support of the state which leads to rising pressure within the banks. Due to this, the employees get pressurized to observe their required goal which then leads to non-customer-oriented advice.
The ethic problem I would like to examine in this essay is the pressure that lies upon on the banker and how this has an effect on the investors.
One reaction to the financial system crisis was the introduction of the sales sheet. They have been known from drugs for decades. Finally they are also developed for financial products as well. To prevent a non-customer-oriented advice the new legislation provides a product information sheet that needs to be handed to the customer by the banker as soon as he gives buy recommendations for a product.
This sales sheet is supposed to make the product performances as well as the costs transparent. It has to include the category, functionality, costs and possible risks of the investment as well as the prospects of capital repayments and profits. It also has to mention how much commission the banker earns by selling the product. According to this, the investor gets to know under which condition he gets his money back. It also helps him estimate the risks of the financial investment and compare them easily to other investments.
Thanks to this new legislation the customer can be assured that he gets all information worth knowing about the product he is about to buy and that his personal consultancy is not effected by the high pressure that is put on the bankers.
Furthermore, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority sends so-called “fake customers” to the different branch banks to test the consultancy interview on customer orientation and quality of the advisory service. A bad customer service leads to poor ratings for the bank branch. In addition to that the sales and purchases of the various business fields get checked regularly by samples. So, if an investor sells some kind of a German Fund today and purchases another German Fund a few days later, similar to the one he just sold, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority will raise suspicion to this transaction. The responsible consultant will be taken to task to see if the reason for this uncommon transaction was a commission-oriented advice.
Due to these controls the bankers are forced to extensive consultations. Thus the customer can attend his appointment with a comforting feeling and has the guarantee of a customer-oriented advice.
 Quote: Brecht, Bertolt: Dreigroschenoper: Erst kommt das Fressen, dann die Moral, 1928