Big Change: first bank changes its bonus structureCo-op to reward for customer service not sales

02 October 2012

Co-operative Bank Balloon Street 300x200

The Co-operative Bank has announced the launch of a bonus scheme which rewards branch staff solely on their customer service performance.

In a first for high street banks, sales targets for customer-facing staff at The Co-operative will be removed altogether. In order to receive a quarterly reward, staff will have to demonstrate excellent customer service instead.

Performance by branches, not individuals

The Customer Service Bonus Scheme rewards the customer service performance of branches rather than individuals and will be launched throughout The Co-operative's 342 branches today. A similar scheme will be launched for the bank’s contact centre employees next year.

Barry Tootell, chief executive at The Co-operative Bank, said: 'Sales performance has only ever been a very small part of our reward scheme, but now we are removing this measure altogether.'

'The banking industry needs to start listening to the many people who remain disillusioned with the way it operates and start taking real action to address the needs of their customers.'

Which? Big Change campaign

The Co-operative Bank's announcement follows the launch last month of the Which? Big Change campaign that calls for banks to put customers at the heart of their business. Currently only one in ten people say they trust bankers to act in their best interests.

Prioritising customer service over sales through appropriate bonus schemes is one of the main focuses of the campaign.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: 'This is a positive response from The Co-operative Bank to our Big Change campaign. Introducing a bonus scheme based solely on customer service is good news for consumers and we'd like to see more banks doing the same.'

'Consumers have been let down by the banks for too long. We need to see Big Change in banking now and a return to banks for customers, not bankers.'

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