Bank security needs to be two-way - Editor's Blog -

If you've scared your customers sufficiently about the dangers of hoax calls don't be surprised if they are not delighted to hear from the sales team, writes Brian Caplen.

Banks repeatedly tell their customers not to give away their account details or passwords to random callers over the phone. There is a fraud risk and most banks will not accept liability for any losses if customers flout this basic rule. 

This being the case, why does my bank keep ringing out of the blue to discuss transactions or offers?

The bank caller starts the conversation by trying to take me through security. When I ask them how I can be sure they are my bank, they say: "Of course we are!" Ah that’s fine, so now I know this is not a fraudster. 

My big worry when my bank calls up in this way is that there has been a fraud on my account of which I was unaware. Invariably the reality is that the bank wants to sell me something. Trying to sell something to someone you have just alarmed is not going to be easy. Hardly the best way to start a sales conversation. 

Banks need to rethink their sales strategy in light of the current security environment and not to do things that contradict their own security warnings. Maybe the bank needs to be able to supply a security metric in response to the customer's question rather than the other way around. Or maybe it’s time to reinstate the friendly conversation in the branch. 

Brian Caplen is the editor of The Banker. Follow him on Twitter @BrianCaplen

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