Blogs & Comment

Finder fees in financial services

I received an email recently from ING Direct offering monetary rewards for business referrals.It seems to be an offer made to all ING Direct clients, of which I am one.
All I have to do is append an Orange Key icon to my email messages, Facebook Wall, forum posts or website/blog. Each time someone clicks on it, I get $25 if they open a new account and deposit at least $100. For every 10 persons who open an account, there is a $50 bonus. The total payout can be as high as $2,000.
Thats a pretty tempting sum. However, this arrangement reminds me of the mutual-fund salespersons who recommend mutual funds on the basis of embedded monetary rewards (without complimentary ancillary services).
Similarly, an ING account may not be what best suits the needs of all the friends, relatives and other people who respond to the referral. I personally bank there for the convenience and other features, but there are other savings accounts with higher rates. And while their mutual-fund offering is one of the best around, there are others that might be a better fit with an investors requirements.
Offering finders fees seems to be a common practice in the financial services industry. For example, I understand several online brokers offer them to customers for helping withbringing in new customers. I would rather see the reward money go toward offering more value in financial products, wouldnt you? Or am I missing something here?