Starcom Worldwide, a part of Starcom MediaVest Group, has released a research that attempts to measure and monitor the experience of retail investors with the broking community and other related issues. The India Investor Experience Survey was conceptualised by Starcom as part of its ongoing efforts to create new knowledge about consumer attitude and behaviour. Conducted electronically involving nearly 7,000 respondents, it brings to fore some fundamental issues that the broking community needs to pay serious attention to.
As per the survey, 35 per cent of the respondents felt they had been cheated by their broker, while 60 per cent claimed to know someone who had been cheated by a broker. 84 per cent of those who felt cheated themselves claimed to also know a friend or relative who had met the same fate. Even a half of those who didn’t feel they had been cheated themselves claimed to know someone who had been.
Many investors felt that brokers didn’t have client interest in mind and that they made money whether the investor made a gain or a loss. 66 per cent of all respondents and over 80 per cent of those who felt cheated were convinced that the broker’s advice was not ‘fair and unbiased’.
However, there is general good news for online financial transactions. Findings showed that 70 per cent of all respondents felt safe transacting online. But out of those who actually claimed to trade online, 13 per cent did not feel safe doing so.
Ravi Kiran, CEO-South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, said, “We believe this study raises some very serious issues on the investor-broker relationship and how it is perceived. The findings should be viewed with maturity and forward mindedness. When consumers tell us how they feel, it’s very valuable information.”
He further said, “The fact that 35 per cent people feel cheated by a broker is a really large and worrisome issue. In fact, considering the fact that people are a little cautious admitting to being cheated and pointing fingers in public, the real number is likely to be higher. Perhaps it’s time for the broking community to take some concerted action to remove these negative perceptions from the investor’s mind.”