Only 53% of consumers trust banks and building societies, with many believing they fail to act fairly and transparently with customers.
According to YouGov research, bigger banking brands and high street names elicit more trust for 28% of respondents, compared with 22% trusting smaller names.
Some 62% of consumers strongly agree that brands behaving fairly and transparently with their customers would encourage trust.
Other important factors include brands offering consistently high-quality customer service and knowing there is no risk the brand will go out of business.
Just 11% of consumers asked strongly agree that financial services brands ranking highly on price comparison websites would encourage trust.
James McCoy, research director at YouGov, says banks need to work on customer service to gain trust.
He says: “There are no quick fixes where trust in concerned.”
A report from consultant Cicero last week found the media was often to blame for painting a negative picture of financial firms.
It quizzed 102 financial service providers about how banks can rebuild their reputations. More than half – 59% – of respondents say the media did not fairly portray the retail banking sector, while 55% say banks should engage with the media to improve their reputation.