A matter of trust

Edelman recently released their annual Trust Barometer report, and for the third year in a row banks and financial services placed in the bottom two spots. In contrast, technology is the most trusted industry.

The survey, which sampled 26,000 respondents in 26 countries, highlights that the banking and financial services industries have seen a dramatic loss of trust over the last three years, beginning with the financial crisis and most recently including the slew of regulatory actions. Edelman made a point in this survey to ask if respondents were aware of the recent scandals involving banks, with the majority responding in the affirmative.

As a follow-up question, Edelman asked "What do you think is the biggest cause of these scandals?" Nearly 60% of respondents pointed to behavioral issues at the banks, such as conflicts of interest and corporate corruption as the cause, while 20% blamed the scandals on a lack of regulatory oversight.

One thing that is clear, though, is that these industries have a serious image problem. Further, Edelman says all industries are facing a crisis of leadership, with public trust in CEOs nearing all-time lows.

One bright spot for the industry, though, is that people trust business more than they do government, according to the survey. Of course, when federal regulators allow scandals, such as HSBC's money laundering and the Libor manipulation cases, to go on for so long and the perpetrators only receive a slap on the wrist, it's understandable why the public wouldn't trust government.

Below is a video wrap-up of what Edelman found in its 2013 Trust Barometer report. Take a look and let us know if there's anything that stands out to you. What do banks and the financial services industry need to do to regain trust?

About the Author
Michael McFarlin

Michael McFarlin joined Futures in 2010 after graduating summa cum laude from Trinity International University, where he majored in English/Communication. With the launch of the new web platform, Michael serves as web editor for the site and will continue to work on the magazine, where he focuses on the Markets and Trading 101 features. He also served as a member of the Wisconsin National Guard from 2007 to 2010. mmcfarlin@futuresmag.com

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