Banking and the financial industry made have made big strides in the U.S. over the past year in restoring the public trust. But they are still dead last in a recent survey from public relations firm Edelman.
Banking and the financial industry, which are two categories in the survey, fall just below the media (which is third-to-last) and well below the automotive industry in trust. They are also the least trusted industries globally. The only difference is, globally they have not shown much improvement over the past year.
“While trust in every industry declined in 2008 after the global economic crisis, financial institutions and auto companies were particularly hard hit,” said Matthew J. Harrington, U.S. president and CEO of Edelman, in a press release. “Since then, an industry-wide commitment to producing high-quality products and communicating openly and honestly with customers has lifted auto companies out of the global trust doldrums, but financial institutions still have a long way to go to regain the level of trust enjoyed prior to the financial meltdown.”
Not only that, but the individual people involved do not rank very highly on credibility. The least credible people in the survey are financial or industry analysts, CEOs and government officials or regulators. Yet, despite the lack of credibility on the part of regulators, nearly half of the industry “distrusters” say that financial services and banks need more government regulation. In fact, even among those who do trust the industry, 31% says it needs more regulation.
So, what’s an advisor to do? Edelman says that the most important attributes from the survey to building trust are “ethical business practices,” (76%); listening to customer needs and feedback,” (74%); and “placing customers ahead of profits,” (73%).