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October 12, 2012


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Nick Bush

Absolutely spot on that the banks are not engaging correctly with social media. What's more frustrating is that social media works even better when your physical presence reinforces a trusted brand. Innovative social media use and local branches are the future for successful banks

Peter Fletcher-Dobson

Agree totally on the power of social media engagement. The challenge in my mind is how to seamlessly manage the shift from public conversation to private. At Kiwibank we've been rolling out Online Relationship Managers to all of our personal banking customers for the past year. Customers engage with them on desktop, tablet and mobile apps. They also use social media ( Twitter and Facebook) but the really good conversations can occur securely whenever and wherever the customer wants. There are a variety of smart tools used to help manage relationships across the entire online base but the key (and the bit we know customers love because they have gone as far as proposing marriage to two of them!) is that a real person is always one touch away. It's secure social if you like but which can extend reasonably easily to the public SM platforms.


I have to step in and disagree on this post. The example of:

"Or you tweet "thinking about buying this used Aston Martin", and your bank says, "are you mad, you're already $20,000 overdrawn"."

.. is the perfect example of the juxtaposition of personal outreach and bank confidentiality. The two cannot operate together. Even the most socially connected Gen M will not accept confidential information over social media.

Its too contrite to speak of banks lack of outreach to customers in social media. This is not a defense of banks. Its a reality of shouting customers personal information across the branch. Its just not on.

This is an old argument we had in 2006 and its still not clear.

Banks need to carefully scour social media for information on what customers think but it is not clear how they would use social media to respond.

Chris Skinner


As mentioned, it needs to permissions based and layered according to confidentiality. In the example I gave above, now amended, the bank would DM you which means the message is only visible to you privately.


Edward Harkins

Two comments. First I suggest that, with respect, Thebankwatch's comment is one example of 'just not getting it' on social media and where it is now in terms of functionality; in this case with banks.

Second, the problem is a long way away from just to do with banks in the UK. Much of my work impinges on the UK public sector which can be categorised as highly variable in its approach, application and use of social media. There are some remarkable exemplars, but they are mostly small scale and very localised or very task specific. Interestingly, the nature of the problems I have witnessed in the UK public sector are almost parallel in nature to what Chris describes - especially in the heavily contested fields of BYOD and use of social media by line staff.

John Gilbert

For the first time in the latest UK Financial Activity Barometer I believe that social media may have played a part in directing people (especially women) to move to a bank that was offering a very good mortgage deal. I do agree with Chris I think social media is a potentially very powerful channel as the MumsNet is showing.


It's only a matter of time before social media engagement becomes the norm but I do agree that the financial sector seem to be slow in embracing it. Many of the Financial Advisors I deal with seem to think they can leave it to others and I find that the more social media savvy have a better portfolio of clients.

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