The purpose of this paper is to use psychological theory to improve our understanding of financial advice-taking. The paper studies how a working alliance between financial service customers and advisors affects the advisor's assessment of the financial service buyer's perceived risk preferences, and what role trust plays as a mediating variable.
The paper obtained data by means of a questionnaire that was answered by 375 matched pairs of bank advisors and customers.
This paper explains how the working alliance method – a concept from psychotherapeutic theory – between financial service customers and advisors affects the advisor's understanding of the financial service buyer's perceived risk preferences. The paper also finds that the role of trust is perceived differently by the advisor and the customer. Advisors see that as their clients learn to trust them they lose touch with the customer's perceived risk preferences, whereas customers do not perceive that their trust in the advisor has any relationship to their risk preferences.
This results suggest that advisors lose touch with the risk preferences of trusting customers, and that psychological methods are needed if the advisor should actually understand customer perceived risk preferences.
The paper advances psychological methods in marketing, and provides a partial answer to the difficulties of financial advice giving.
The authors appear in reverse alphabetical order and have contributed equally to this paper.
Söderberg, I., E Sallis, J. and Eriksson, K. (2014), "The dark side of trust and the light side of working alliances in financial services", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 245-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBM-02-2013-0014Download as .RIS
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