Unlock the Bank Vault
You would be forgiven for believing that your bank is the perfect business model as a one-stop shop; for all things ‘financial’. After all, you can buy almost any financially related product from them and they keep telling us how good they are. If you don’t have the time to do adequate research on the product/s you want to buy, it is comforting to know that they will look after you.
It is folly to believe that you are getting the best deal possible on the full range of financial products available, from your bank. If you are of the opinion that your bank has your best interest at heart, then you need to give yourself a good shake. Their business model is based on maximising profit by cross-selling an array of products to folk that do not have the time or inclination to make informed product decisions. They are masters of the ‘trust us’ game and target consumer inertia.
My language may appear emotive on this subject but it is something that I feel very strongly about. It is not very often that new clients come to me, full of the praises for the investment or pension product that they have purchased through their bank. More often than not, they come to me because they are frustrated by the level of service they are getting from the institution that ‘sold’ them the product.
The following is an alternative approach that you could use so as to take full advantage of what your bank has on offer so that you get to keep more of your money. You have to be smarter than they think they are.
Your bank calls you up and asks if you would be interested in a ‘Free’ Financial Review from their resident expert financial planner. The only motive that your bank has for doing this is that they are going to try and sell you a product that they can get paid on. This can be a Life Insurance, Unit-Linked Savings, Pension or Investment product.
You don’t get too many opportunities to get something for nothing from your bank, so take the offer. Pay attention to what is being said, or recommended, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and take notes about the costs/charges. But, just don’t buy or sign up to anything until you have fully researched an equivalent product on the open market.
I would be very surprised if you could not buy a more competitive product elsewhere: especially on-line. The savings can run in to thousands of Euro over the lifetime of the product.
Is it not far better that these savings are transferred to your ‘personal balance sheet’ as opposed to the balance sheet of your local friendly bank?