LONDON: High quality content can be a vital ingredient for banks looking to dispel consumer cynicism and increase trust and loyalty metrics, a new study has shown.

NewsCred, a content marketing platform, surveyed 1,000 UK consumers for its report, The Trust Transaction, and found that while around one third professed not to trust their bank, more than half (56%) said they trusted their bank more when it provided helpful, useful content.

Further, half of respondents suggested that good content was a factor in reducing their desire to switch banks. And not only was content capable of boosting loyalty, it was also driving ROI, as one third of respondents indicated that they had signed up to new products and services based on useful content from their bank.

In an area where many consumers can feel at sea, 58% said personal finance articles helped them make decisions, and 57% agreed that content from a bank helped them understand which products were most beneficial.

Millennials aged between 18 and 24 years old proved to be the most highly engaged and receptive audience for banks. Two thirds of this group trusted a bank more when it offers them useful content, compared with half of respondents overall.

A broadly similar proportion (59%) said they would spend longer on their bank's website if it provided interesting articles, compared to the average response of 36%. And almost twice as many of this group as older consumers would share interesting articles on social media.

But banks need to be careful about who exactly is producing that content. Just 20% of respondents would trust content written directly by representatives of the bank, while finance journalists and independent experts drew much higher levels of trust at 53% and 54% respectively.

"Banks are being judged by the quality of content they create," said Shafqat Islam, NewsCred founder and CEO. "[They] need to think carefully about how they build their content strategies, using the right teams, tools and insight to make an impact and truly connect with their target audiences."

Data sourced from NewsCred; additional content by Warc staff