January 31, 2014 00:00 By Sucheera Pinijparakarn
Kasikornbank will add 1,500 financial advisers to its K-Expert service this year, on top of the current complement of 2,500. The staffing upgrade is aimed especially at expanding consulting advice to customers upcountry.
K-Expert was launched in 2012 with 800 financial advisers. That number was increased to 2,500 last year as part of KBank’s quest to become an advisory bank.
While consulting services are K-Expert’s priority, its advisers can also direct customers to other kinds of banking products.
KBank executive vice president Pakorn Partanapat said the focus on customers upcountry would be a key strategy of the bank this year, as financial transactions far from the political unrest in Bangkok can compensate for reduced business in the embattled capital.
On average, KBank’s “mass segment” customers hold two or three of its products, while high-net-worth clients hold five to six.
Mass customers mostly consult experts about how to manage expenses or how to seek extra income, while middle-income and affluent customers consult them about investments and tax deductions. About 10,000 customers per month use the K-Expert service, 60 per cent of whom are in Bangkok and the rest in the provinces. KBank hopes the increase in K-Expert advisers will boost the upcountry proportion to 50 per cent.
The needs of customers in Bangkok and the provinces are different. Clients in the capital are largely white-collar workers interested in savings, investments and tax deductions, while those upcountry are interested in start-up companies and business expansion.
The bank yesterday publicised an edutainment reality show, “The Expert – Dream Inspiring Phenomenon 2”, to reinforce its brand awareness and promote its financial advisory service. It begins its run on Channel 5 today.