What will it take to restore trust in the banking system?


I grew up in a world where a run on the ‘bank’ was never realistically going to happen. I grew up in a world where when someone wished to declare the truthfulness of their assertion they’d simply say “you can take that to the bank” or when it was a sure thing they’d say “you [...]

Who’s easier to save, a banker or a dictator?

Bankers often talk about the ‘trust’ consumers have in banking as a defining characteristic of why customers give banks their money instead of simply keeping it under a mattress. Some bankers might have difficulty understanding why customers of today seem perfectly happy to give money to the likes of PayPal, M-PESA, Lending Club or Zopa. [...]

Transparency, Broken Risk and the Loss of Physicality

Recently I’ve been discussing with bankers, economists, strategists and futurists the future of the banking industry. At a time when we’ve got the likes of the “Occupation of Wall St” (#OWS) through to discussions in various camps about the very survival of banking as we know it, a question you might ask is how did [...]

Who killed trust in banking, and when does it return?

Building trust starts with creating great customer journeys that improve service levels and demonstrate a willingness to be transparent. We can’t rebuild trust without these elements. The biggest risk today, is simply that I don’t trust you enough to give you my money.

What the loss of confidence in banks really means…

This week we have some of the world’s biggest banks recording staggering, record profits – despite this there are serious challenges heading the banks way in the short-term and consumer trust is just the start of it. As early as July 2008 we started to hear serious grumblings from consumers groups, customer advocates and politicians on how banks had “lost their way”. This loss of confidence and consumer backlash forced politicians in the US, EU and elsewhere to look at so-called “Robin Hood Tax” where bankers who took huge bonuses would be taxed at a higher rate. Undoubtedly, the proprietary trading post-GFC off the back of cheap government money (TARP, etc) as the markets reverted “to the mean” created the opportunity for arbitrage profits and subsequently huge bonuses. The theory that the bank bailouts would free up credit for the average man on the street was quickly lost as banks chose risk-adverse customer lending strategies. But now the banks face a quandary…

Are retail banks innovative?

The banking and financial services sector is perhaps the oldest profession around. In recent times banks have come under heavy fire from customers, regulators and the media alike for their participation in and failure to prevent the global financial crisis. The introduction of Credit Default Swaps, CDOs, Asset Backed Securities and other structured financial instruments are thought to have contributed significantly to the failure of the global equity markets in 2008, and the subsequent global recession.

So are banks innovating in the right areas? Has the innovation in product produced greater customer satisfaction, higher margins and better banking?

I’ve compiled this infographic to put some of the thoughts in perspective. Let’s just put it this way, banks are not know for their innovation. But they better start learning, and fast…

Customer's tell banks "We don't believe you anymore…" (HuffPost Blog)

Brand marketing has long been a tool for the largest banks to help us see their value. In recent times, however, with the global financial crisis, botched bonus strategies and a groundswell of negative opinions building through social media, banks are at a loss to understand how they could have got it so wrong.

Brand marketing may have worked in the last century, but what we need now is banks prepared to build reputation – one customer at a time…