In 1989 Lafferty Group published a report with the title, Beyond Retail Banking: How to Keep Your Customers Happy and Loyal — Forever.
Its author, Dr Stefan Kaminsky, had the rare distinction of being one of the few people in the world ever to have established — and successfully managed — a standalone retail banking institution.
Beyond Retail Banking argued that what he called 'integrated consumer banking' would mark a quantum leap in the way that banks delivered services to customers. Banking, he said, should not be a sales-driven process, but should be premised on building long-term relationships and mutual trust between banks and customers. Banks should see their purpose as providing solutions to their customer's needs and problems, and develop integrated instruments, with integrated pricing, supported by integrated information — for real human beings.
In the wake of the 2008-2010 banking crisis Kaminsky's all too prescient observations chime with critiques now being heard coming from all quarters — customers, regulators, governments, and even from within the banking system itself. Retail banking, it has become evident, has become regarded by the industry as an unglamorous, poor relation of investment banking. As a result, the all-important trust between ordinary customers and banks has been critically damaged.
Lafferty Group is proud to be making Kaminsky's report available in an edited version, bringing it up to date with developments including online banking, the use of social media, and regulatory changes. The new report is also prefaced with an introduction drawing attention to the key themes emerging in the current dialogue around banking and the role and responsibilities of financial service providers.
The report is very much more than a critique of the status quo. More importantly, it provides a blueprint for creating and managing retail-only banks. It addresses issues including the qualities and outlook that make for good retail bankers, dedicated to serving the needs of their customers and thus guided by a radical philosophy: that of providing Real Banks for Real People.
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