Banks and networks by the side of their clients

Emergency management

Bluerating | April 2020

The networks of financial advisors and our banks have shown the ability to manage the emergency with clarity of mind and composure.

Financial advisors reassured and supported their clients in dealing with issues linked to their investments, most certainly challenged by market instability; they also served as a reliable source of information, trustworthy and capable of summarizing the large amount of details on the way to handle the emergency.

This is what emerges from a research conducted by Finer since early March, following the entry into force of the restrictive measures. Financial advisors grasped the sense of uncertainty of their clients which, in some cases, could have resulted in panic.

72% of financial advisors claim to have promptly answered to or contacted their more distressed clients. And this aside of the orders of their employer, who provided them with clear indications on what and how to communicate. For their part, clients had, once again, a chance to appreciate the proactiveness of their financial advisor, who promptly contacted them in more than one case out of two (55%) by phone call (62%), email (45%) or text (27%). Financial advisors reassured their clients and offered to provide explanations of the health emergency (66%) and its impact on investments (83%).

The analysis of the contents of their communication represents a point of interest: every financial advisor claims to have sent reassuring messages in order to avoid panic. Specifically, most of them (81%) reminded their clients that every great crisis has always been a source of new opportunities; 75% of financial advisors acquired and sent their clients the reports of their employer; 25% of them suggested to invest.

Despite the present emergency, a positive fact stands out: both financial advisors (82%) and their clients (77%) had a chance to use and appreciate remote means of communication as a substitute for the customary face-to-face meetings; and this even before the latest Decree (Source: Finer Finance Mirror 2020; sample: 300 financial advisors and 500 end investors; collection of data: 2-9 March).

Even some among the more traditional banks showed an exceptional ability to react to the emergency, although caught unprepared and vulnerable because of their high territorial coverage (higher than networks) and the presence of tens of thousands of branch employees unable to stop their working activity. Clients appreciated the reassuring tone and the content of the emails they received from their bank – 47% of the interviewed clients expressed satisfaction. It is in such difficult times of crisis that trust is built and a sense of belonging is created, the very glue of any relationship.

The largest and best-established bank in our country set an example with an eloquent email: in it, clients are assured that “central banks and governments all over the world are at work… the contact with a professional is essential, so your manager (name and surname) is at your disposal; … the insurance division of the Group has extended the coverage for the subscribers of health insurance plans providing financial support to those who may become ill with a diagnosis of coronavirus”.

A second, commendable bank – seen as a leader in multi-channel strategies – sent the following email: “We are by your side, even from afar. Send and receive money from your living room. Realize you project without moving from your sofa. We are here for you. Because we have always been digital by choice, not out of necessity”. The email ends with a fundraiser for the Hospital Sacco in Milan and the Hospital Spallanzani in Rome.

These are only two among the many heartwarming examples in this very sad moment for our country and for the entire world.

A great Italian banker said: “banks do not deal with money, but with the trust of their clients”. In this time of emergency, our banks are being present, and clients will always remember it.