Reinventing Financial Services, Authors: Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks.
Excerpts – “Consumers increasingly want to know more about the companies they do business with, and about the specific products and services they buy there. The interest varies from the company ownership structure, the remuneration of top management and corporate policies to labour conditions, production processes and ingredients. Consumers also demand full transparency regarding prices and product features – what exactly do I pay for and what not? – with the ultimate goal of finding the best, cheapest or most ethical offer.”
“What’s remarkable is that when we talk with executives of financial service companies we often find we have to get onto the same semantics page. Financial executives usually think about transparency in terms of the balance sheet. Are all obligations on the balance sheet or are there any so-called offbalance sheet items? That is of course a different perspective than the one the consumer uses.”
“For consumers ‘transparent’ equals ‘easily seen through’, ‘readily understood’ and ‘free from deceit’. Transparency is about openness, making things clear by providing information.”
“Insurers need to give clarity about, and possibly redefine, the exact relationship with their intermediaries. Are they 100% owned by the insurer? Or are there any other interests? Transparency does not only relate to whether a product is easy to understand, but also to all the links in the chain. Insurance intermediaries will be faced by the choice: ‘am I a retailer or a financial advisor?’”
“There is no future in this mixed model. One just cannot be ‘objective and trustworthy’ when one also profits from the actual products being advised. Either intermediaries evolve into true objective advisors, refrain from provisions and build a fee-based business, or they really position themselves as financial retailers with a range of products of one or more insurance companies. And refrain from abusively describing themselves as ‘objective’.” more> reinventingfinancialservices.com