Customer First is an important issue of the recently introduced banking code in the Netherlands. It mainly concerns customer satisfaction and it is aimed at regaining trust of customers. Interestingly, the code does not address the urgency of improving customers’ financial literacy and their ability to make sound financial decisions, given that they consult a financial advisor. This dissertation specifically considers these two topics. In the first chapters we present empirical results about the sheer size of consumer debts and about the difficulties that consumers have with interest rate computations. With newly acquired data, we also document that the willingness to purchase on credit gets reduced when the total amount involved is mentioned explicitly. As consumers apparently need help, many turn to financial advisors. The second part of this dissertation deals with an extensive survey amongst financial advisors and their customers. This unique database could be compiled with the help of two Netherlands-based financial institutions. We address the perceived expertise of the advisor and the advisee, the satisfaction levels and the relevance of the disclosure of the advisor’s fee. We also contrast the answers of advisors and consumers and we document a substantial difference in opinions about the same topics.

Additional Metadata
Keywords consumer behaviour, decision making, financial innumeracy, financial literacy, financial services, relationship management
Promotor Ph.H.B.F. Franses (Philip Hans)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Sponsor Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Prof.dr. I.J.M. Arnold, Prof.dr. S.G. van der Lecq, Prof.dr. W.F. van Raaij
ISBN 978-90-5892-293-9
Persistent URL
Series ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Vlam, A. (2011, December). Customer First? The Relationship between Advisors and Consumers of Financial Products (No. EPS-2011-250-MKT). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from