Banking customers miss the face-to-face experience of years gone by

8th March 2016

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Seven in ten Brits feel automated services are gradually erasing face-to-face support, leaving many wanting to return to “days gone by” when it comes to personal service.

According to research from wealth manager Charles Stanley, more than half of bank customers would want access to staff at their local bank branch to talk about their finances in person.

Books, groceries and toiletries are the key items where Brits are confident shopping un-aided and prefer to make their own selections without the interference of a shop assistant. However, when it comes to making costly decisions, such as buying a house and arranging their personal finances, British consumers want all the help they can get. The average home buyer will consult with two experts for advice, most notably an estate agent or mortgage broker and will run their decision past at least three friends or family members before committing.

The study revealed that how much a service costs also comes into play when consumers decide whether advice is needed.

For instance, when it comes to small purchases of less than £10 in value, the majority of people would be happy to just buy it without any interference from a shop assistant. However, it seems the most people will spend without needing guidance is £474 and after this, guidance is welcomed. “There is no doubt that the growth of online and automated services has helped reduce costs and speed up processes for time-pressed individuals,” says Christopher Aldous, Head of Distribution, Charles Stanley.

“However, there is no substitute for a personal service that is tailored to the individual and this is increasingly important when making decisions involving large amounts of money, such as a home or a pension”

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for automated technology. Online banking was voted as the best automated innovation in modern life by two thirds of consumers.

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