Is Trust In Banking Up Or Down?

Ever since the financial crisis, it’s not uncommon to read articles and studies about trust in banking and whether trust is “up” or “down.” In the past year alone:

  • Ernst & Young reports consumer trust in banks is diminishing. September 2016
  • International Banker claims that trust is often found wanting in today’s banking relationships. December 2016
  • Edelman reports in their 2017 Trust Barometer that in the United States 60 percent of financial institutions bounded forward (in trust) six percentage points from 2016. March 2017
  • And according to The Hill, almost a decade later, public trust in financial institutions remains stubbornly low. April 2017

So is trust in banking up or down? Some of the confusion stems from a lack of definitional clarity. Without a clear(er) understanding of what “trust in banking” means, the entire sector finds itself painted with one broad brushstroke, the reading public is left in an an ever escalating state of confusion, and elevating organizational trust becomes all the more challenging.

Trust? What are we trusting banks to do, or not do? Safeguard our money, earn a good return for shareholders, protect our personal data, treat employees well, provide good customer service, or all of the aforementioned?

Banking? Can global investment banks, regional banks, and/or a local savings and loans be grouped together when discussing trust in banking? Should they be?

For seven years Trust Across America has been researching the trustworthiness and integrity of America’s largest 1500 public companies via our proprietary FACTS® Framework.

This is, by order of magnitude, the largest ongoing study ever conducted on trustworthiness and integrity at the individual corporate level. Our 2017 data concludes that the finance sector remains among the lowest in trust, with an average score of 58.

But our data also tells a more holistic and detailed story, and one that places us in a unique position to discuss trust in the banking industry. Industry is NOT destiny and those more trustworthy financial institutions suffer at the hands of their less trustworthy colleagues. And the headlines above only serve to reinforce this fact.

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FACTS® Managed Accounts were independently audited from Feb.1, 2013-Jan.31, 2016. Prepared by FACTS Asset Management LLC

 FACTS® is our model ...

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