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

"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."
- Monica Staco, Category Manager - Financial Services

This report looks into the following areas:

  • Economic stability matters
  • Data breaches are the latest headache
  • Continued engagement with consumers
  • Transparency and authenticity speak louder to consumers

Trust is an ongoing endeavor that must always be in the forefront of all industries but particularly more so for FSI. Considering FS firms were the most impacted by the recession in terms of trust, repairing relationships with consumers demands consistency as it will take thousands of positive encounters to strengthen consumers’ trust. New players in the industry with innovative ideas are able to attract younger consumers who tend to be more trusting of the industry considering they don’t have a long history of interactions with it and rely on convenience to determine if they will trust a brand. As they become financially stable, their level of trust will most likely be influenced by different factors, challenging FS providers to continue to monitor their needs and expectations.

As demographic changes are taking place, FSI must stay connected with their customers, not only Millennials, but also Gen X and Boomers who are less trusting of the industry, to determine their particular needs and develop strategies to deliver the expected services. Ultimately a premium service delivery that exceeds expectations will keep consumers happy and engaged with the industry and raise their level of trust.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • 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
                                                    • Terms

                                                    Companies Covered

                                                    To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

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

                                                    £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)