Trust in Financial Services Rises, But Still Ranks Low

Ethical Practices, Honest Communication Will Strengthen Trust: Nearly four years after the global economic meltdown began, the nation’s financial services industry remains among the least trusted by consumers, according to the latest annual global survey of trust conducted by Edelman.

Despite an improvement in the economy, the 2012 data shows that only 46% of consumers trust financial services. Similarly, only 41% of respondents indicated they trust banks. However, both experienced a significant uptick in trust from last year, when they bottomed out at 25%.

Edelman’s survey also indicates that societal attributes of financial institutions play a more dominant role than operations when it comes to rebuilding trust. Survey respondents rank “has ethical business practices” (76%), “listens to customer needs and feedback” (74%) and “places customers ahead of profits” (73%) as the most important actions financial firms should take to rebuild trust. Among the other findings:

  • Only 31% of those who distrust financial services and banks are likely to believe corporate sources of information.

  • However, 67% of those who distrust the financial services industry will believe company information reported in traditional media, and 64% will trust multiple online sources.

  • Respondents who trusted financial services and banks indicated that “a technical expert in the company” was the most credible company spokesperson (80%), while those who distrust the industry consider "a person like yourself” to be the most credible (68%). Source: Edelman 

    Source: Edelman

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