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Although FS organisations may well be taking steps to transform their culture, to put customers first and to act ethically there is still a long way to go before public trust has been restored.
Saying sorry is one thing; rebuilding trust in the workplace quite another. That’s a lesson which the UK’s finance sector is having to learn the hard way if a recent speech by Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane is anything to go by.
Titled ‘The Great Divide’ the speech started by looking back at an open forum which was hosted by the Bank of England last November and specifically at a survey which was run in advance of the event. Asking people to come up with one word to describe the future of financial services, overwhelmingly the response from those within the financial sector was ‘regulated’. However, when consumers of financial services were asked the same question the top answer was ‘corrupt’ followed by “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy.”
The response from this survey has been echoed by other reviews. For example, the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that globally trust in financial services is at 51%, but just 41% in the UK. What surveys such as this show is that although organisations may well be taking steps to transform their culture, to put customers first and to act ethically there is still a long way to go before public trust has been restored. And that isn’t going to happen simply through business as usual allied to a few extra words inserted in the annual report.
As Andy Haldane concluded, rebuilding trust “may require some quite different approaches to pursuing and communicating purpose” adding that “it now falls to us all to rebuild it, brick by brick, bank by bank, policy by policy, word by word.”