Product Applications: Conduct Risk, Big 4 Bank

By Ian Stevens

We are currently undertaking an ongoing programme of sales conduct risk assessments on behalf of a major high street bank. The prime focus is to assess branch compliance at the point of sale for savings, current accounts and bancassurance products from enquiry, through to full product application.

The project involves 60 mystery shops per month with different creditworthy mystery shoppers each wave. In order to get the most out of the research shoppers are asked to collect audio recordings of their interactions and photographic evidence of all materials provided by the bank during the application process. To ensure the highest possible standards fieldwork is conducted by ESA Retail, part of the BDRC Group.

These files are shared with the bank via a secure online reportal with a user hierarchy ensuring that only the relevant branch staff can access the details of their own interactions. Our work is already delivering a clear audit trail and vital evidence, demonstrating the bank’s commitment to industry regulations. It has also led to beefed-up training and coaching materials for branch staff, with much clearer feedback about performance, changes required and the reasons why.

The work has been so well received that we are now in discussions with the bank to extend the scope to include the most complex shopping journey to date: mortgages.