On Having a Wells Fargo Moment: The Morality of Loyalty

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Dad was always about the deal.  He used to brag about what a great price he got for one thing or another.  You could sell him anything if he was convinced he was getting a bargain.

His relationship with his bank was just as firm.  He dealt with the same bank that he started with when he joined the RCAF always believed those relationships were more important than the growing impersonality of consumer banking.

Dad is gone now.  But the legacy, the strength of his personal convictions however increasingly misplaced, gives me perhaps a greater understanding of the need, on the one hand, to maintain a cognitive status quo and on the other how dramatic conduct can change when actions become so egregious as to overcome the weight of the dissonance.

Just before his death Dad voted liberal, in the last federal election, for the first time in his life.  A life-long conservative, it was only the Conservative Government’s mishandling of the Veterans’ file that pushed him over the edge, or should I say chasm?  His faith and belief in the party was so strong that to this day I find myself gob-smacked when I think of it.

I’m not sure Dad would have noticed the fees he was being charged on his investments or understood them. But Dad would have felt betrayed by his bank if they were knowingly taking advantage of customers.

As much as the days of traders hustling around trading posts amidst the bedlam of open outcry, teletypes clacking, trading slips strewn about the floor has long gone, so too has the sanctity (and perhaps the overbearing patronization) of a visit to the bank.  Technology has changed much in terms of transparency, convenience and execution which is good.  But In the age of disruption, of rapid technological change, we must ask ourselves: “How do I stay true to my customers’ loyalty?”

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This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.