About thirty, mainly young employees of investor bank BinckBank are busy ringing at their computers, some with headsets, others with landlines in their hands. They all talk to investors who see the huge fall of the stock market on Monday morning as the time to sell or buy.
It looks a lot calmer than the well-known image of historic stock market crashes, with screaming men in suits running across the floor to sell client shares as quickly as possible. Nowadays there is a lot less screaming because the stock trading largely takes place online. But that certainly does not make this day at BinckBank near the Amsterdam RAI a day without stress.
The stock markets received an unprecedented blow on Monday morning: after two and a half weeks of major declines, the AEX opened another 5.2 percent lower. Shell started the day with a 22 percent price loss and the oil price had fallen by 30 percent overnight.
On waking up, investment trainer Peter Siks saw what the market in the United States was doing and read the news about oil prices. Then he knew: this is going to be a busy day at the office. “These are extreme days,” Siks tells us about the workplace. “Everyone is on the phone all the time, it is quieter here.”
BinckBank has two types of customers: customers who decide for themselves which shares they want to buy and sell, and customers who let the investment bank make the decisions. This is done automatically on the basis of models that are monitored by an employee.
The whole range
“Many of our customers have read everything this weekend, are ready in the morning and know what they want,” says Saskia Klep, director of BinckBank Nederland. “The phone is ringing off the hook, customers ask a lot of questions.”
Most investors do not get on the phone, they buy and sell online themselves. But some customers like to call to place their orders, which is called buying and selling shares. The employees do not give advice, BinckBank is exclusively executive.
“The consequences of the coronavirus, the uncertainty about its economic impact and the falling oil price,” Siks sums up. “That together is three times uncertainty and investors hate uncertainty.” P aniek at the exhibition Siks will not mention it. “That is too heavy, but there is certainly stress. At the same time, many investors also see this as an opportunity. ” The blow that Shell made this morning is the time for some customers to step in, says Siks.