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Disappointed by Your Bank Advisor?

Legal/ tax and helpful subjects

How to manage your own finances

4 minute read

Bank advisors and their intentions - the media talk about them again and again. Be it Handelsblatt, Der Spiegel or WirtschaftsWoche: They all write about a lot of frustration, dissatisfaction, and conflicts when it comes to investment advice and the brokerage of financial products. Spiegel Online gives tips on how best to understand your bank advisor; the Handelsblatt discusses the pressure and frustration on the part of bank advisors. The problem for clients and financial advisors is the commission system.


The bank advisor faces a dilemma: Should he really sell the client the right product in financial consulting and forgo his own commissions? Or does he simply sell the investor the most expensive product for which he himself receives the biggest commissions? It’s a classic case of a conflict of interests that affects not only bank advisors but also financial advisors and insurance brokers.

WirtschaftsWoche lets bank advisors have their say and tells of enormous performance pressure and exposures of those who sell less than what is expected of them. The article quotes financial advisors from many banks, including Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank, and Commerzbank. One of the interviewees sums it up: "Advising clients is based on what the bank wants and not on what the client needs." The consultants don't even have a full hour to discuss investment advice.

A survey conducted by the Private Finance Institute of EBS Business School also confirms this. This, although a detailed analysis of customer needs is supposed to be carried out by the banker in a serious bank consultation, according to the Handelsblatt. These include, for example, the individual life situation of the client, the professional situation, the affinity to risk, the tax strategies, and the ownership of real estate. It is impossible to provide such detailed banking advice within less than an hour. As a result, banking advice often does not focus on the customer's needs.


"It is easier for me to bear when a client is dissatisfied with me than when my boss is dissatisfied," Dieter P., an employee at a bank in Berlin, told WirtschaftsWoche. "After all, the customer only sits in front of me once or twice a year. Besides, I can usually fool him. I have to explain myself to my boss once a week."

The individual now has three options. One: He does nothing and simply stops investing. Second: He blindly relies on the good intentions of his bank advisor and thus ignores the possible conflict of interests. Or he gets an overview himself. The consumer advice center, for example, can help you determine which individual investment products are the right ones. You make yourself less dependent on investment advice from a bank consultant, financial advisor, or insurance broker by learning about financial topics.

As a well-informed client, you make it more difficult for bank advisors, financial advisors, or insurance brokers to sell you unnecessary investment products. Only very few people realize the dream of making a lot of money through dizzying returns. The chance of making an attractive investment is much greater if you take time once a week to learn more about investing money. Become your own consultant!


Did you know that the Germans are way behind when it comes to saving in Europe? Even behind the Greeks? This has been confirmed by a study by the European Central Bank in 2015.

Why? Because about two-thirds of the inhabitants of Germany have no idea about financial education and leave their savings in current accounts and fixed-term deposits for security reasons, instead of letting the money work for them.

The monetary system in capitalism works continuously, whether the workforce actively participates or not: There is inflation, which reduces the value of money and there are interest rates, which are supposed to multiply the money. We should make sure that inflation is no higher than our interest rates. From that moment on, we lose money. This can cost the average net household more than EUR 20,000 in 10 years, Der Spiegel calculates.


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Status as of 04.11.2016 00:00


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André Jasch

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