Consumer Trust in Banking Remains Resolute

Benchmarking report finds that consumers trust business more than any other institutional category, at a time when trust in banking relationships is also on the rise 

With the release of the Edelman Trust Barometer, business once again comes out on top as consumers report their trust in business higher than any other category of institutionincluding government, and nongovernmental organizations and media. The only institution to surpass the 60% mark that the report recognizes as the defining line for trust, business even rose a percentage point over other categories since last year. At the same time, people’s trust in their financial relationships is rising, even with the regional banking failures and financial industry response that defined much of the last year.  

An annual ranking reaffirms the trusting relationship people have with financial services brands. In Top 10 Most Trusted Brands for Banking, Investments and Payments, Kiplinger’s says, “This is likely due to the fact that individuals interact with these companies frequently, forming a connection to them.” Banking is defined by enduring relationships. “Trust in financial services is really consistent across the board,” according to Jaime Toplin, financial services analyst at Morning Consult in Yahoo Finance. “Since 2021, it’s really hovered largely around the same level, and I think that that’s partly because these relationships are very long-lasting with people.” 

In fact, fintech hasn’t eaten away at the market share of traditional financial institutions as analysts once predicted largely because of deep consumer trust and loyalty to their existing bank. “It’s not that consumers simply trust banks because there aren’t any alternatives,” according to Yahoo Finance. “According to the report, only 47% of neobank users – digital-only financial service companies that provide some range of banking services – trust their institutions to ‘do what is right,’ suggesting entrants in the space have a steep uphill battle in winning customers away from traditional banks.”  

As the Edelman Trust Barometer affirms, trust is a cultural currency essential for building all manner of relationships with institutions. “As you’re generating trust, you can also consider how people decide to trust,” according to Fast Company’s Four Science-Backed Ways to Build Trust as a Leader. “Bankers and bank regulators tend not to talk in these terms,” former Goldman Sachs investment banker Matt Levin explains in Forbes’ People Trust Banks, But Banks Need to Continue to Earn That Trust. “But they know it in their bones; at a deep level, they understand that they are creatures of social confidence and that preserving that confidence is their most important job.” 

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