The financial services sector needs to smash the mould which sees it consistently underperform other industries when it comes to customer service, according to Axa Wealth chief Mike Kellard.
Research conducted by Axa Wealth indicates there is a tendency among consumers to rank financial services, including banks and along with utility companies, poorly when it comes to customer service.
Axa Wealth chief executive officer Mike Kellard (pictured) said: "We do a survey of 4,000 consumers every 12 weeks and, even if you are top of the pack in financial services, you are top of the pack which is bottom as far as industries go.
"On almost every question that asks about customer service, it is banks, financial services companies and utilities which come last of almost any industry which you can mention.
"It is not a good place to be. We are a long way down the pack as an industry and we need to break out of that mould."
Growing regulatory requirements are at risk of putting consumers off the sector due to the added complexity, he said.
"What we have done in financial services is make it so complicated that people almost do not want to use it anymore. We are in a very strongly regulated world and with that comes complexity which can turn people off."
Kellard said there is a discrepancy between the product development process and the finished proposition, in terms of consumer reaction, which highlights the need for a change of direction.
"We do workshops with consumers to test and explain propositions and they love it. Then we write it out in the way, from a financial promotions area and corporate governance perspective, that we are covered, and when we give it to them they don't like or understand it and just want to throw it in the bin.
"Somehow, between us, there must be a way through that to make financial services more appealing. I think making it more intuitive than simple is key in the future."
Axa Wealth reported in August that assets under management had grown from £20bn to £24.3bn over the previous 12 months, driven largely by increasing inflows from IFA business on the Elevate platform.
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