Magazine article American Banker

Financial Industry Has a Serious Image Problem: CFA

Magazine article American Banker

Financial Industry Has a Serious Image Problem: CFA

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Todd

The financial industry's image problem goes deep. Five years out of the financial crisis, even people actively involved in the industry don't trust it.

Just 53% or respondents said they trust banks to do what is right,

According to a June survey of 2,104 investors in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada that was conducted by the CFA Institute and public relations firm Edelman. The financial services industry is deemed similarly unreliable, winning the trust of 52% of investors. The two industries ranked last among eight included in the survey. The others included were technology, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, autos and telecom.

Banking and financial service professionals have much to lose as public confidence dwindles, according to the CFA Institute's Robert Dannhauser.

"Roughly a quarter of investors feel that they lack a fair opportunity for profit in capital markets," Dannhauser said at a panel hosted by the CFA Institute in New York on Tuesday. "Investors who don't see signals for confidence will drift away," opting to pour their money into real estate and other alternative investments, he added.

For members of the financial industry looking to win back trust, the survey offers several takeaways.

Individuals working in finance have considerable power to restore customer confidence, according to the survey. More than half of investors said that investment managers were most effective at building their trust in capital markets, ranking them ahead of investment firms and national and global regulators.

"People count for a great deal," Dannhauser said. "For banks, that means everyone from the loan officer to the branch manager to the teller. They are the ones who cement brand image."

Bank analyst Mike Mayo agrees. …

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