Warc Blog

Banks fail to rebuild trust in UK

10 August 2012
LONDON: Perceptions of banks remain highly negative among UK consumers, suggesting the industry has failed to rebuild its reputation following the financial crisis.

Which?, the magazine, surveyed 2,000 adults, and found 71% thought banks had not "learned their lesson" from the downturn, a view held by 61% of interviewees in a similar study published last year.

The number of respondents agreeing that financial institutions had "not done enough to prevent another credit crunch" also rose from 76% to 84% during the same period.

An additional 71% of those polled stated that there has been no improvement in the culture of banking since the recession began.

Moreover, 80% of the sample believed there were "deeper problems" with the system than individuals making poor decisions.

"Five years on from the beginning of the financial crisis, public confidence in the banking industry is at an all time low, with a series of scandals exposing mis-management and corruption at the very heart of the banking system that have cost UK consumers dear," said Peter Vicary-Smith, the chief executive of Which?

The main issues which have impacted consumers in the recent past include everything from the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance to IT failures at Natwest and Nationwide.

Another reason for popular dissatisfaction was related to the personal financial situation of contributors, as 45% of the panel were worried about mortgage rates, and 42% expressed concern over household debts.

Elsewhere, exactly 50% of participants thought the government's handling of the banking industry had grown worse, and just 26% anticipated positive change would result from parliamentary inquiry into the sector.

"The parliamentary banking inquiry must produce proposals for fundamental change to the culture and practices of the banks and put the best interests of consumers back at the centre of reforms," said Vicary-Smith.

"Nothing should be off the table if the government is to rebuild consumer confidence in this essential service."

Data sourced from Which?; additional content by Warc staff

 
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