What’s clear from some of the initial results of our recent survey on sales, the full results of which will be published shortly, is the amount of pressure staff are under to improve sales performance. And that pressure manifests itself in many different ways. Take mortgages for example. We know that protection products are a big money spinner for the bank and Mortgage and Protection Advisers (MaPAs) are under enormous pressure to deliver protection sales when completing mortgages. There aren’t any individual targets or numbers, the bank’s not that stupid. However, everyone in the business knows they exist.

In a recent blog message to mortgage and protection, Mike Songer, Mortgage Director Lloyds Bank said:

“DURING [the capital letters are Mr Songer’s] the interview, our quality of advice remains strong for our mortgage lending. I called out in my last blog the need for us to be more consistent around our Plan and Protect conversations and I am pleased to see that this is happening, with more conversations taking place around customer’s protection needs”.

We can safely assume that even with the introduction of MCI recording, Mr. Songer hasn’t spent days with his feet up, drinking a skinny salted caramel mocha frappuccino whilst listening to mortgage interviews to check for consistency. And neither have his team or even Local Mortgage Managers. In the context of his blog, “consistency” means something different. Mr Songer will have seen the number of illustrations produced by MaPAs and concluded that it’s not enough to meet the bank’s sales target for protection. It’s not about the “quality” or “consistency” of the conversations because unless you listen to them all, how do you know? You don’t. It’s about the numbers and if you haven’t got enough protection sales, you demand more. Mr. Songer’s blogs put just enough pressure on line managers and MaPAs to deliver more illustrations and more sales. However, in demanding more, the bank could be putting customers at risk of being pressurised to buy products they don’t need or could buy cheaper elsewhere.

Let’s be clear, the vast majority of line managers are dealing with MaPAs properly when it comes to sales, and they will always do so regardless of the pressure they come under from above, but there are some who will continue to push the boundaries beyond what is acceptable.

We’d like to hear from MaPAs about their experiences and they can do that by emailing us at 24hours@btuonline.co.uk.

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