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The Role of Communications Analytics in Identifying Mis-Selling

Regulators are providing new guidelines and emphasis on the importance of accountability across sales representatives, their managers and at the board level, in determining company culture and how it is communicated across the organisation.

Poor customer service and treatment has historically been fuelled by lack of adequate training, greed, and more concerningly, has been encouraged by the institution itself through incentivised sales.

Here in APAC, within the last few years, both the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to only name a couple, have been releasing guidance on improving company culture and practices to better the treatment of customers.

“Financial institutions (FIs) play critical roles in safeguarding the interests of their customers, ensuring that markets operate in a fair, orderly, and transparent manner, and protecting the integrity of the financial system. The manner in which an FI conducts its business and deals with customers and other stakeholders is ultimately shaped by the culture in the organisation.”  – MAS GUIDELINES ON INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONDUCT

So how do you find which of your Private Bankers or Relationship Managers aren’t acting in the interests of their customers?  Regular training is a good proactive measure, but unfortunately does not guarantee good behaviour.  Technology can play a part in actively finding instances of mis-selling, identifying vulnerable or at-risk customers, and promoting good behaviour to set as an example for others to follow.

The use of Natural Language Processing models are critical to a successful solution finding the necessary language of interest.  By analysing context and intent, models can find instances of pressure selling, deception or harassment language, without inundating analysts with false positives, as can be the case with traditional methods of keyword spotting.  Furthermore, language can be very nuanced from different regions and cultures, so it is important to have the correct tools to tailor your approach.

By integrating with CRM data, institutions can quickly see if the customers being alerted on are vulnerable, and whether the advice given matches their risk appetite.  Reporting on language used with customers across emails, chats and telephone calls can provide further insight into which of your customers are at risk, which representatives may need to retraining, and which departments may have a conflict of culture with the organisation’s views.

Regulators have openly announced that they will crack down on this behaviour and aren’t afraid to issue fines or name and shame, as shown by the Australian Banking Royal Commission’s report published last year.  Digital Reasoning is seeing growing interest within Wealth Management, Private and Retail Banking, and Insurance institutions in the use of communication analytics to tackle the issue and help instill a culture of treating customers fairly and respectfully.

Written By
Selina Tindall

Selina Tindall is a Senior Solutions Consultant at Digital Reasoning. She is located in Singapore and is passionate about the application of technology to detect and prevent crime, as reflected in her experience across unauthorised trading, anti-money laundering, anti-fraud and cyber security.