The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer: Financial Services takes a deep look into a sector that, over the last five years, has seen a steady increase in trust. In 2018, however, this rise has stalled, and we see several markets in the informed public segment of our research with double-digit declines in trust. This year’s data also offers insights into why trust in financial services matters, what builds or erodes trust in the sector, and why the industry must maintain a delicate balance between the use of technology and the human touch. 

Here are five key takeaways to consider:  

A Stalled Trust Recovery: 2018 showed six double-digit financial services Trust declines amongst the informed public segment, including a 20-point drop in the U.S. 

Trust Delivers: Forty-one percent of respondents used products/services of trusted financial services companies in the last year. Thirty-one percent recommended them to others. 

Technology Builds Trust: Thirty-six percent of respondents selected reliable fraud protection as a way to most increase trust in a financial services company. 

Human Interaction is Sought-After: Thirty-one percent of respondents said it was most important to interact with a real person when getting investment advice. Twenty-six percent said they needed a real person when settling disputed credit card charges. 

People are Essential: Forty-two percent of respondents said credentialed investment advisors were the most trusted source of financial info and advice. Forty percent chose friends and family. 

Deidre Campbell is global sector chair, Financial Services.