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Personal Banker
DBS Bank

14Why is your bank fixed deposit rate lower than other banks?

Banking starts with deposits and that’s where savings and emergency funds are placed in.  For a long time, interest rates had been low in Singapore, so every little penny counts.

Interest Rate History 1985 to 2015

13Do you have fixed deposit promotion?

It’s always great to ask for promotional rates.  Except if you are in retail banking, you may be headed to answer the same question more than a hundred times a day.  And if you can still do it with a smile on your face.

Risks

12Investments always lose money.  Why should I invest?

There’s always bad experiences in investments:

  • Technology Bust in 2000
  • Global Financial Crisis 2008
  • Bad Bets in Foreign Exchange
  • Minimal or low returns from Structured Products
  • Losses in Convertible Structured Products
Investment Going Down

11Why is the investment always going down?

Customers expect investments to be positive once they go in, in a few months or in a few years.  They didn’t invest to be negative.  If a Japanese investor had invested into the stock market in the early 1990s, for more than 20 years, it would had been negative or zero returns.

And sometimes, customers remember only the bad trades or take profits on good trades, leaving with only bad investments.

Aberdeen Asset Management

10Why should I switch from one fund to another?

It is a question logical to ask.  Isn’t it?  Why was this recommended in the first place?  And there is also the historically perceived bad practice of “churning” to generate more revenue & commission.

Personal Bankers

9You guys always change bank. Who is going to look after my investment after you leave?

  • Average Turnover rate of Personal Banker is 9 Months
  • Average Turnover rate of Priority Banker is 21 Months
Personal Banker

8If you are so good with investing, why are you still in the bank?

Customers think that when they meet a wealth manager or an investment expert, they are waiting to earn easy money and good returns while sitting back and enjoy the sunrise and sunset.

Maybe they just expect a little better than market return from your bank’s expertise.  There are 14 Retails Banks, 47 Private Banks, 26 Leading Fund House and more than 80,000 financial advisors in Singapore, so it is pretty difficult to beat the competition when there’s so many bright guys in the industry.

Online Trading

7Why should I buy from you when online platforms’ fees are lower?

Online platforms offer investment products at a much lower price.  It is always a great question to ask where is the value-add or if the price difference justify the value-add.

Though it is very clear.  The obvious difference is a dedicated personalised wealth manager talking to them and a web page.

Dollar

6Do you earn commission?

Customers think:

1. If you earn commission, you may be recommending the product because of the commission.

2. But if you earn commission, you now have the fiduciary duty to look after the investments.

3. Sometimes, just curious.

Investments

5I don’t like Unit Trust.  It can’t be trusted.  Why do you keep suggesting Unit Trust?

Unit Trust was first introduced in the late 1990s, and shortly the 1997 financial crisis and the technology bust of 2000 wiped out as much as 90%.  The initial sales charge of 3% to 5% increased the distrust of Unit Trust.  Why pay so much fees when it is not performing.  Yes, and there is the buried 1.5% p.a. to 2% p.a. management fees.

HSBC Insurance

4Why is your bank selling insurance?

Insurance are often marketed by insurance co. and agencies.  Customers are always puzzled why the bank needs to sell insurance, sometimes thinking if the bank does not have enough business.

Investments

3Why is the investment period so long?

Imagine your hard earned money being locked up for 5 years, and when you need it, you can’t tap onto the funds.  Investors prefer to have funds where they can withdraw anytime, for any big decisions in life such as buying a house, a car, or funding children’s education.

Opportunities

2Do you have anything that is safe, low or no risk, and have 5% returns? Or 7% returns?

One of the most frustrating question, but who doesn’t want to pay $300 and get upgraded onto a business class seat.  A great chance to show your knowledge in risks against returns analysis.

Singapore Airlines

1Do you have free gift?

Everyone loves free gift.  Banks used to give umbrellas and mugs pre-2000.  Post-2000, phones, tablets, travelling and shopping vouchers made their way into the gift-lists, with investments made.