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Only 53% of consumers trust banks and building societies

Only 53% of consumers are willing to trust any bank or building society, according to recent research by YouGov.

When the data is broken down, 63% of consumers say they cannot trust any bank and 57% cannot trust any building society.

Bigger banking brands – for example, high street names, tend to elicit more trust, with 28%, compared with the smaller names with only 22%.

When it comes to the current financial crisis, 70% of UK consumers think corporate greed is responsible. Other factors which consumers perceive as very responsible include poor management of the UK economy and consumers taking on too much debt.

Some 62% of consumers strongly agree that brands behaving fairly and transparently with their customers would encourage trust. Other important factors include brands offering consistent high-quality customer service and knowing there is no risk of going out of business. Just 11% of consumers strongly agree that brands that rank highly on price comparison websites would encourage them to trust a financial services brand.

Consumers were also asked if they were looking for information on a company offering financial services, which types of communications were effective at building trust in a brand.

Some 68% of consumers believe positive comments from friends, colleagues and acquaintances are very effective at building trust in a brand. Online methods of communication fair less well for effectively building trust among consumers, such as entries on a price comparison website, a brand’s own website and online adverts.

James McCoy, research director at YouGov SixthSense, says: “The importance of company motivation and a consumer’s belief the company has longevity and by implication is reliable is clearly demonstrated here. Consumers place trust in financial firms that are motivated to help and support their customers and can deliver on their promises. To build trust financial services firms have to do it by continuously demonstrating high-quality customer care and a desire to align the firm’s motivations with those of the customer base. There are no quick fixes where trust in concerned.”

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