Bank bashing is a pastime now engaged in by far too many South Africans not qualified to understand the banks’ positions and much of the criticism is way off the mark, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group. Nevertheless, he says, there is one aspect of current bank practice that in his view could be improved – and this is the recognition and rewarding of loyalty.
“There are a great many people,” said Rawson, “who become bonded with their banks and entrust almost every financial activity in which they are involved to their banks. We have clients in the property world who, in addition to placing their business and individual cheque accounts with their banks, also have at the same banks fixed deposit accounts and their credit cards, household and car insurance, life assurance, wills and estate management. They also use them for JSE share deals and sometimes even for funding their children’s education, again on a long-term loan.
“Surely such clients deserve above-average treatment, especially when it comes to bond mortgages. This type of loyalty should, I believe, automatically qualify them for a rate of 0.5% to 1% lower than standard bank mortgage loans and their application process should also be simplified.”
At the moment, said Rawson, it does appear that the various different sections of banks are completely unaware of the clients’ involvement with other departments, but “streamlined bouquets” of the type he is suggesting would not be that difficult to set up.
“With the aid of a computer program, these can be introduced and applied automatically when certain prescribed levels or conditions are met – and from the estate agent’s point of view they would be very welcome because they could help people to invest in property more quickly and easily than is now the case.”