Client-stealing and plastic surgery - all to get ahead

Client-stealing and plastic surgery - all to get ahead

Step into a bank and you will notice impeccably dressed frontline staff with brilliant smiles.

But beneath that facade is a dog-eat-dog world, where good looks sell and client-stealing is commonplace, confesses this bank officer, whose formal designation is "relationship manager".

In a nutshell, explains Jenny, who asks that we do not reveal her real name, the job of a relationship manager is to service and maintain the financial portfolios of clients.

Often, this includes courting investment amounts and peddling financial products, which then yield commission.

Relationship managers sometimes get so desperate that they resort to unscrupulous tactics, including stealing the customers of their colleagues, she says.

"We all have a list of clients assigned to us, usually of the opposite gender, because it's just easier to sell that way.

"Client-stealing happens when another manager gets close to your client and as a result, the boss orders a re-assignment," she says, adding that it has happened to her several times in the past.

"You can't do much about it, but what really gets under my skin is when the manager closes a deal with the client without first letting the boss know that the client prefers him,"she says.

But confrontation about the "stealing" never happens.

"It's so competitive. We won't talk about these things in the open," she adds.

The emphasis on good looks is high in this line, she adds.

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