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I don't know about you but I have zero tolerance for organizations that profess to have zero tolerance policies when it comes to racism and profiling and their people and culture as well as management don't demonstrate that reality.

The recent episode at the Hilton/Doubletree Hotel in Portland Oregon is another graphic example of policy and management not in sync with life on the front line. A registered hotel guest,because he was black was escorted out of the premises  after staff called the police who also didn't act in a reasonable manner in protecting an average citizen from being treated racially. There have been many other similar examples recently at Starbucks and even a bank where a man simply wanted to cash his pay cheque and the teller had the police called to remove him from the facility as he is black!  Then the companies shout out that they have zero tolerance when it comes to racism in their operations and cultures or they shut down their business for a day to conduct diversity training- total BS! Training should already have been done and regularly reinforced from the time a policy was enacted. You don't get public relation points for doing what should have been completed all along. Top management has a responsibility to ensure that diversity training is entrenched in the culture.

Financial institutions have tried to ensure that hiring practices recognize the diversity of the market place but have they actually ensured that interpersonal relations are respectful and represent how people are to be treated as employees and/or customers? Since the Starbucks event I won't enter their facilities and now I will give up my Hilton Honours Club membership after many loyal decades. I have zero tolerance for any organization that doesn't practices what they preach. Take the time to ensure that racism of any degree is not allowed to arise under your watch.

Pat Palmer | Saturday, December 29, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

As we enter 2019 with all the AI, technological and virtual network capabilities we have the ability to to add more personalized attention for our customers throughout our omni-channel networks.

Most major FI's are no doubt on the cusp of building highly interactive Customer Coordinators for each client. The past online focus did remove opportunities for enhanced engagements and experiences but the re-invention of this priority will be front and centre in strategic plans.

Whenever, wherever and however plus for whatever a customer wants to access your organization your assigned virtual coordinators will personalize the contact and requests. They will have all your information and data available interactively with preset approval limits and opportunities to expand or reinforce the relationships.

Personalized sales and service will grow and flourish and deflect outside competition automatically.

Pat Palmer | Thursday, December 20, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Huawei is all over the global media and especially throughout Canada, China and the USA. Perhaps the recent events have been beneficial in crystallizing the issues around Huawei and our industry going forward should immediately take stock on current inventories/arrangements.

Huawei is prolific in online media and promotions and when you turn on Hockey Night in Canada their name jumps out as a key sponsor. Also there is an awareness that the company's technologies are leading edge and intrusive in the financial service industry. Legitimate concerns exit around the company's motivation and orchestration behind the scene by the Chinese government in our cyber world. Obviously China is quick to step in and retaliate when Huawei officials land in legal situations, which therefore become political hot potatoes. 

So not only is the technology control a concern but also the lives of our citizens for which China has little democratic integrity or concern. Before we go any further, re-assess your direct and indirect involvement through suppliers with the company and adjust your strategic sourcing and strategies. Huawei competitors are well known to our industry and they carry less business and people risks to our livelihood. Technological espionage and influence by countries such as China and Russia are realities already so be vigilant in all your dealings and social networks.

Pat Palmer | Monday, December 17, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Wells Fargo Bank continues to teach us what not to do regularly. If it isn't auto insurance, it is technical glitches and now before Christmas erroneous foreclosures and total lack of customer empathy. When you see management leaving voluntarily, and otherwise, there is something rotten in the house. Blaming it on technical problems which never seem to get fixed and reoccur is a strong signal that people are not following up and don't know what they are doing.

If you want details on the embarrassing foreclosures, check out the CNN story on December 12. Totally callous and begging for law suits. People with health issues being kicked from their homes wrongly and then sending them a cheque for $15K in hopes that will pacify the customers hurt-not one or two, but hundreds. Totally scary to the point that regulators and legislators should be jumping all over them and turfing management responsible.

I expect that they will see an accelerated exit of customers and staff until they re-professionalize and re-build customer-centricity throughout the organization- lots more pain ahead!

Pat Palmer | Sunday, December 16, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Yes, we are exiting 2018 after the Christmas holiday break and are entering 2019 with action plans and resolutions which we hope you will be successful in reaching if not exceeding. Hopefully they are challenging and will build value for your customers, business and employees.

In our focus groups with staff we are always amazed at how many financial industry employees don't have a Will or haven't updated one in the past 5 years. Also we ask about term and health insurance coverage as well as written career or life plan. Think about your customers! We suspect that they aren't as well versed as your employees on the subjects. So, there is an education void in many areas where we can help and make employees and customers have a better life styles and security.


From our house to you have a Blessed Christmas/Holiday/etc , The WESI team

Pat Palmer | Thursday, December 13, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

We are in a stage of economic turmoil mainly caused by political ineptness so are markets a bargain for consumers and big banks? Investing has to be for the long term and consumers must have objective goals that protect their wealth and maintain liquidity for downturns. The one issue for those carrying heavy mortgage balances is the potential for rising rates which will make incremental rates difficult to accommodate. We also do see some early signs of softening in some real estate markets which erode equity for some. Individuals and their banks can proactively take steps to minimize these negative impacts, and should do so.

On the other hand the big banks are being scrutinized for not taking advantages of acquisitions to increase shareholder returns similar to American institutions. The writers trying to give advise should look at the historical track records of both industries as well as the precarious political tax incentives available in the USA from a lame duck President who decreases taxes in the short term without understanding the long term cumulative effects of increased spending. With global trade and tariff battles going on caution is the over riding guide for a steady performance course.

Pat Palmer | Monday, December 10, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

The name of this post reflects reality for many authors, university professors, researchers and others but can also be a message for many businesses especially financial institutions who give the impression that they are too reserve about their good deeds. Sure profits are a strategic driver as are people and planet! What you do for your customers and employees which shows extra empathy and dedication should be shared in your market communities, advertising and advertorials. Likewise, the environment is a critical today and for the future generations and everyone can do their contributions for a better planet. In fact we know of many exciting initiatives of our FI contacts that don't get enough external press but things are shared internally on a rationed basis.

Sure there is a lot of focus on the media these days regarding fake news in the political arenas but lets not back away from real positive publications to inspire our people and give an incentive to others. Publish or we will get lost in the abundant negativity bombarding us daily.

Pat Palmer | Sunday, December 09, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Last weeks Bank of Canada report on quarterly intentions cools their direction for continued rate increases. In fact, the international, national and inter-provincial economic discords are getting louder fueled by politicians who don't understand integrated global economic benefits which if disrupted erode financial footings every where even in the perpetrators own backyards. Tariffs on tariffs, taxes on taxes and threats on threats are destroying economic underpinnings and long term value creation which will strain our financial systems and eventually injure individual consumers with job losses and credit deterioration. The financial industry can visualize the potential negative impacts and more can be done to privately or publicly educate politicians on the fallout. 

When major trading blocks are in chaos without knowledgeable leadership, the resulting consequences are long term economic pain and financial uncertainty. Progress is under attack and politicians need to come down from their power pestles and get in touch with their peoples' economic well being.

Pat Palmer | Sunday, December 09, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Canada's national newspaper today reported on the Facebook 2015 sale of personal, private information of members' "friends" information to major retailers' so they could harvest the data for target selling offers. One of the companies mentioned was RBC Royal Bank of Canada. I expect there will be some very senior comment from the bank and Facebook as to if they had the consent, or not, of those customers. If not, there has been a major ethical, privacy and leadership breach of personal information similar to what StatsCan was recently trying to expand which created a national backlash from the CBA, Government Opposition, media and average organizations and individuals, such as, us. 

Apologies, dismissals and policy changes may be non negotiable now and if there isn't a timing response, I expect that the media, politicians and the public will to generating an outcry which should be the loudest from RBC customers.

It is damage control time- with honest, integrity and corrective actions. Some of us past and current employees are dumb founded at the moment.

Pat Palmer | Wednesday, December 05, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Aviva acquired RBC's general insurance business a few months ago and ever since that time I have heard numerous complaints about their lack of customer empathy and proactive service. RBC should have taken their brand name back when the sale was completed as they are in the shadow of a company no where near the customer service standards that they maintained.

Tonight I had a call from a single mother who drove from Barrie to Milton to have supper with her 18 year old son. On Friday she had just gotten her car back after repairs at a Benz dealer which resulted when the vehicle was parked and hit by a driver who was at fault of course. In her drive the engine and coolant lights came on and she was afraid to make the return drive home. She called Aviva's service number for guidance and assistance and was on hold for an hour after which the call was dropped. A complaint has been registered with the company. After over 2 hours she was riding in a tow truck back home. This a woman who is active on social networks and is now on a mission to redirect others away from Aviva.

Obviously Aviva didn't go to the same customer service school as RBC and many of its disgruntled clients.

Pat Palmer | Sunday, December 02, 2018 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

 


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