Understanding financial professionals' perceptions of their clients' financial behaviors

by Tania Morris, CPA, CGA; Lamine Kamano; Stéphanie Maillet – International Journal of Bank Marketing

This article describes financial professionals’ perceptions of their clients’ financial behaviors and the explanatory factors underlying these behaviors. In this qualitative research, we seek to understand financial professionals’ experiences in relation to how their clients manage their own finances. We conduct and analyze 26 semi-structured interviews with financial professionals from several industries within the financial sector in Canada. 

The professionals in our study noted that despite their clients’ financial knowledge, several other factors can explain these individuals’ financial behaviors. They include psychological factors, (such as financial bias, the need for instant gratification, and the lack of awareness regarding the long-term effects of certain types of financial behaviors), financial habits (such as lifestyle, financial planning, and lack of discipline), and the financial system’s flexibility with respect to debt financing and repayment. These perceptions are categorized according to whether they are related to debt financing or repayment, savings, or investments. 

By using a qualitative methodology that relies on the perceptions of financial professionals, this study aims to better understand the financial behaviors of individuals and households, and these behaviors’ underlying factors. 

This study’s findings could be useful to various stakeholders interested, in one way or another, in financial literacy, such as organizations aiming to strengthen and promote financial literacy, educators, researchers, regulatory bodies of financial institutions, and financial advisers.

To read the article in its entirety, please click HERE.