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The Role of Trust in Financial Services - US - April 2015

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Published Date : Apr 2015

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No. of Pages : 40 Pages

The FSI’s (financial services industry) reputation has been damaged since the recession hit in 2008-09. Consumers quickly blamed the industry for the crisis and ever since have had a hard time trusting its products and services. However, not all sectors were negatively impacted; credit unions continue to attract more consumers as do alternative banks. Understanding customers’ needs and delivering on these is a key tactic impacting trust development. Throughout this report you will learn consumers’ definition of trust, their expectations of various financial sectors, and lastly factors helping financial sectors and trusted brands maintain consumers’ trust.
Table of Content


What you need to know

Executive Summary

Figure 1: Current trust level, any trusting and any untrusting, January 2015
Figure 2: Change in current trust level, January 2015
The issues
Economic stability matters
Data breaches are the latest headache
The opportunities
Continued engagement with consumers
Figure 3: Level of trust in financial services touch points, by generations, September 2014
Transparency and authenticity speak louder to consumers
Figure 4: FS trust factors – Any important (very and somewhat important), January 2015
What it means

The Market – What You Need to Know

Client retention is based on trust
Gen X and Boomers are not trusting FSI
Digital service delivery can be a threat to trust
Economic conditions also impact consumers’ trust

Market Factors

Demographic changes
Figure 5: Trusted financial services sectors, by generation, January 2015
Figure 6: Untrusted financial services sectors, by generation, January 2015
Rapid growth and wide adoption of technology
Inconsistencies in economic growth
Figure 7: US GDP quarterly growth rate, Q1 2013-Q4 2014

Key Players – What You Need to Know

Credit unions have a strong brand reputation
Insurance companies continue to loose consumers’ trust
New FS players are using innovation to gain trust

What’s Working?

Credit unions have a positive brand reputation
Figure 8: Alliant Credit Union and Golden 1 Credit Union, mailing ads, 2014-15
Figure 9: Brand trusted, January 2015

What’s Struggling?

Insurance companies continue to be challenged
Figure 10: Attitudes toward insurance agents and insurance companies, any agree, October 2013, October 2014

What’s Next?

Online and alternative banks are quickly gaining consumers’ trust
Figure 11: Ally Bank, online and print ads, 2014-15

The Consumer – What You Need to Know

Trust is an ongoing challenge for FSI
Customer experience is the key to trusting relationship
Data breaches are impacting consumers’ trust

Overall Attitudes toward Trusting FS

Consumers’ definition of trust
Figure 12: Collage of Qualboard quotes and images of consumers’ definition of trust, February 2015
Consumers give financial providers the benefit of the doubt until trust is broken
Figure 13: Consumers’ attitudes toward FS trust, January 2015

Current Level of Trust

Banks and credit unions are the most trusted in the industry
Credit cards and insurance companies are the least trusted
Figure 14: Current trust level, any trusting and any untrusting, January 2015
Demographic differences among consumers trusting banks and credit unions
Figure 15: Demographic profile of trusting consumers, January 2015

Change in Level of Trust

Trust level is stagnant in most FS sectors
Figure 16: American Express, mailing, online, email ads, 2014-15
Figure 17: Change in current trust level, January 2015

Factors Contributing to Trust

It’s all about the customer experience
Figure 18: FS trust factors, by key demographics, January 2015
Customers want great customer service, integrity, and honest communication
Figure 19: Factors impacting brand trust, January 2015
Consumers demand more of brokerage firms and investment companies
Figure 20: FS trust factors by current level of trust – Trusting, January 2015

Concerns Impacting Trust in FS

Data security is a major concern for consumers
Figure 21: FS concerns, by key demographics, January 2015
Fees and low interest rates are also on consumers’ minds

Data Sources and Abbreviations

Data sources
Consumer survey data
Consumer qualitative research
Direct marketing creative


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