Financial Wellbeing –

Why do people feel they cannot talk to their bank?

Our financial wellbeing research shows that when people do not feel valued by their bank, they stop having important conversations.

I have read that our desire to feel valued is linked to how we evolved millions of years ago.

When you think someone does not value you, it triggers innate fears that you will be kicked out of the social group.

Before societies evolved, ostracization like this could be a matter of life and death.

Today, solitude is a luxury rather than a survival threat, but nevertheless it can pose challenges.


Do you feel valued?

According to our survey of high-net-worth individuals, just 32% say they feel valued by their bank. And more than two thirds (71%) feel that during a big life event, such as having a child or losing a loved one, they are not sure they can speak to their bank about how they can support their financial wellbeing.

32% say

they feel valued by their bank

Not that I am saying that estate planning is as bad as being eaten by a lion, but our report shows that when banks do not appreciate their clients it pushes them away, so they can often feel like they must deal with challenging financial decisions alone.


The importance of relationship banking

Good financial advice can make a substantial difference to your financial wellbeing. In almost all areas of life, the right expert can provide insight and guidance that would not be available in isolation. You would not try to fix a car by yourself, or treat a long-term physical ailment alone, why would you do so with your finances?

At Arbuthnot Latham we truly value our clients. When you bank with us you are paired with an expert banker who is there to understand your needs, and when you call them, they answer the phone.

If you visit our office, you will meet your relationship manager in a private client room, so that you feel comfortable to talk about any topic you need to. And if you cannot travel to our office, we can often come to you so that we can have a proper conversation in person.

This is particularly important because our survey of a cross section of high-net-worth individuals found people feel even less valued by their bank outside of London. Just 14% of high-net-worth individuals in the South West say their bank values them. We understand the importance of being where our clients are, which is why we have offices in Bristol, Manchester, Exeter, and London.

Banks need to do more to treat clients like individuals and demonstrate how they value them. Feeling valued builds trust, and trust is the foundation of better quality financial conversations.


How to talk about your financial wellbeing

Not everyone finds it easy to talk about personal matters that intersect with their finances. In fact, bankers sometimes say they feel more like therapists.

Banks can help by having a consistent point of contact and using a client’s preferred method of communication.

But do not make assumptions about this. Although younger clients are digital natives, our research shows 64% of under 35s would consider talking to their bank about how they can support their financial wellbeing during a significant life event. That compares with only 19% of over 65s.

64% of under 35s

would consider talking to their bank

against 19% of over 65s

would consider talking to their bank

It is important that we encourage people to speak up about their financial wellbeing.

Here are some tips about having a conversation with your bank:

  • Consider what you hope to achieve – Think about what you want your or your family’s life to look like. If you come into the conversation with an ideal outcome (it could be retiring early or your children having access to money at a certain age) we can come up with financial solutions to help you get there.
  • Do not put it off – The earlier you let us know about a big life the event, the more time we have to help you prepare for it. Activities like estate planning can take place over several years and starting early gives us more options to play with. And if something comes up that needs urgent attention, talk to your bank as soon as possible.
  • Go in with an open mind – Over 65s might be less likely to talk to their bank about a big life event because they feel they have the experience to handle it, but we have a bank full of subject matter experts with decades of knowledge. Be willing to consider solutions you might not be aware of.
  • Keep communicating – Once you start having conversations about financial wellbeing, do not stop. Your situation or goals may change over time, or we may need to talk through new financial legislation. Keeping in touch makes it easier for you or your bank to adapt your plans if needed.

We want you to feel valued by a group of experts who care about helping you go further, so you know you are not alone in protecting your financial wellbeing.

If you would like to speak to someone about how we can help, get in touch.

Helping you go further

The good news is that where there are concerns or problems, there are also solutions. We work with our clients to create a long-term financial plan, designed around their specific needs. Our aim is to support and empower them to take ownership of their financial wellbeing.

Read the report    Visit our Financial Wellbeing hub

Take control of your financial wellbeing

Our research has shown that wealth alone does not equal financial wellbeing. Knowing you have an expert to support your journey can give you peace of mind and ensure you are on track to meet your financial goals.

Speak to us to today by completing our enquiry form or calling us on the number below.

+44 (0)20 7012 2500

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Author -

Helen Keen

Helen Keen

Head of UK Private Banking

Helen has over 30 years’ experience in the sector, spanning both private and commercial banking, with significant additional experience across strategic transformation and credit.