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2013 Edelman Trust Barometer Reports Financial Services is Least Trusted Industry Globally

Banking Scandals of the Past Year Take their Toll on Corporate Trust

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While the overall global trust index showed an uptick among the general public in 2013 (from 45 points in 2012 to 48 points in 2013), financial services remained the least trusted sector globally, with just 46 percent of respondents identified as a “truster,” according to the first deep dive of financial services industry data in Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer.[1]

Breaking down trust by region, the financial services industry is most trusted in APAC, the BRICs and Latin America (61 percent, 60 percent and 55 percent, respectively) but is facing trust issues in North America (44 percent) and EMEA (29 percent).[2]

While countries within the EU were the least trusting – that region saw its fair share of turmoil in 2012 – there were some bright spots, with the industry gaining trust over the past year in France (from 20 percent in 2012 up to 31 percent in 2013), Germany (from 17 percent in 2012 up to 28 percent in 2013), South Korea (from 44 percent in 2012 up to 53 percent in 2013), Indonesia (from 66 percent in 2012 up to 74 percent in 2013) and India (from 59 percent in 2012 up to 71 percent in 2013) according to 2013 data.

The Trust Barometer also looked at trust across several financial services subsectors[3]:

  Global U.S. EMEA

 APAC

Emerging Developed
Banks

50%

42%

33%

69%

68%

37%

Credit Cards/ Payments

49%

38%

39%

60%

61%

43%

Insurance

45%

45%

34%

57%

58%

38%

Financial Advisory/ Asset Management

43%

44%

30%

55%

58%

32%

* APAC includes: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Australia. EMEA includes the Netherlands, UK, Poland, France, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Russia and the UAE. Emerging includes Brazil, Mexico, Russia, India and China. Developed includes US, UK, France, Germany and Japan.

Additional sector and regional highlights include:

  • Trust in banks is split across the globe; however, it’s strongest in the APAC region and weaker in developed markets, a trend that is seen across all of the financial services sectors;
  • Financial advisory/asset management is the least trusted financial services sector globally (43 percent), and is least trusted by countries hardest hit by the Eurozone debt crisis: Germany (23 percent), Spain (22 percent), Ireland (22 percent), and Italy (21 percent);
  • The banking subsector of financial services is the most trusted globally among the general public compared to the other subsectors measured, though still a muted 50 percent globally.

“Globally recognized crises continue to negatively impact trust in the financial services sector,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman. “We are encouraged to see trust in the financial services industry begin to climb back to pre-crisis levels, but there is still a long path ahead.  The public is demanding that financial services industry leaders reinforce new behaviors throughout their organizations in order to build trust.”

Lessons Learned from Scandals in the Banking Industry

The bank scandals of the past year left reverberations throughout the industry. The comprehensive media coverage of the scandals helped educate the public but also contributed to a decline in trust.

More than half (56 percent) of global respondents said they are familiar with the scandals in the banking industry as a result of information they read, saw or heard. And of that group, more than one in three (34percent) reported that their trust in banks (as a whole not a subsector) declined as a result of learning of the scandals. When asked about the causes of the scandals, 59 percent of the group believes that the causes are internal and within business’ control.

More specifically, global respondents who said they were already familiar with the scandals gave the following as the top three reasons:

  • Corporate corruption (25 percent)
  • Corporate culture driven by compensation/bonuses (23 percent)
  • Lack of regulation (20 percent)

Despite a belief that these scandals were within the companies’ control, respondents believe external solutions are required to resolve banking/financial services industry scandals:

  • More government regulation (27 percent)
  • More self-regulation within the banking/financial services industry (19 percent)
  • Stricter rules on executive compensation (18 percent)

About the Edelman Trust Barometer

The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 13th annual trust and credibility survey. The survey was produced by research firm Edelman Berland and consisted of 20-minute online interviews conducted October 16, 2012 – November 29, 2012. The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer online survey sampled 26,000 general population respondents with an oversample of 5,800 informed publics ages 25-64 across 26 countries. All terms within the survey were self-defined. All informed publics met the following criteria: college-educated; household income in the top quartile for their age in their country; read or watch business/news media at least several times a week; follow public policy issues in the news at least several times a week. For more information, visit: http://www.edelman.com/insights/intellectual-property/trust-2013/.

About Edelman

Edelman is the world’s largest public relations firm, with 66 offices and more than 4,500 employees worldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities. Edelman was named Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade in 2009 and one of its “A-List Agencies” in both 2010 and 2011; Adweek’s “2011 PR Agency of the Year;” PRWeek’s “2011 Large PR Agency of the Year;” and The Holmes Report’s “2011 Global Agency of the Year” and its 2011 “North American Large Agency of the Year.” Edelman was named one of the “Best Places to Work” by Advertising Age in 2010 and 2012 and among Glassdoor’s top five “2011 Best Places to Work.” Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Berland (research), Blue (advertising), A&R Edelman (technology), BioScience Communications (medical communications), and agencies Edelman Significa (Brazil), and Pegasus (China). Visit http://www.edelman.com for more information. 

For further information, contact:
Michael Bush
212-729-2181
michael.bush@edelman.com


[1] Q43-60. [TRACKING] Please indicate how much you trust businesses in each of the following industries to do what is right.  Again, please use the same 9-point scale where one means that you “do not trust them at all” and nine means that you “trust them a great deal”. (Top 4 Box, Trust) General Population in 26 -country global total

[2] Q43-60. [TRACKING] Please indicate how much you trust businesses in each of the following industries to do what is right.  Again, please use the same 9-point scale where one means that you “do not trust them at all” and nine means that you “trust them a great deal”.  (Top 4 Box, Trust) General Population in 25 -country global total and across 26 countries

[3] Q61A-64A. [SPLIT SAMPLE] Now thinking about specific sectors within the financial services industry, please indicate how much you trust businesses in each of the following sectors to do what is right. Again, please use the same 9-point scale where one means that you “do not trust them at all” and nine means that you “trust them a great deal”. General Population in 26 -country global total

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