we trust

Data and information can paint an intricate picture of our lives, but who we entrust varies widely

In our survey of approximately 25,000 consumers in eight countries around the world, we questioned their overall level of trust in 12 common industries, specifically whether they trusted employees, felt companies cared about them and trusted them with their data. And our research reveals that responses vary widely from industry to industry.

In almost all the markets in which we surveyed consumers, trust was placed highest in healthcare, technology firms and banking, and lowest in governments.

In first place, healthcare is understandable given its primary mission to serve the basic physical well-being of citizens, despite growing concerns about how data and personal information from wellness and fitness apps and tracking devices might be harnessed by healthcare providers and insurers.

Equally, it’s understandable that consumers place faith in technology firms given their prominence and acceptance in our day-to-day lives, despite continued questions about quite how much power, and data, is becoming concentrated in the hands of just a few private enterprises.

Lack of faith in governments reflects the consequences of years, if not generations, of political infighting, constitutional crises and changing political landscapes.

Of our top three, however, one industry stands out: banking.

So what does this mean for the banking industry? The resurgence in consumer trust represents a new lease on life and an opportunity to take a more active role, through smarter use of the myriad data we create every day, in helping consumers to better manage their financial lives. In doing so, banks can build on comparatively high levels of trust and confidence to forge ever-stronger and more enduring customer relationships.

“Trust is fleeting and an asset that can be easily eroded,” said Anton Ruddenklau, Partner, Head of Digital & Innovation, Financial Services, KPMG in the UK. “Those firms that leverage their customers’ data to provide a personalized understanding of their needs and lifestyles, and enable them to grow and improve their lives, will reap the benefits of customer loyalty.

“The ability to demonstrate these motivations beyond growth and profits will lead to cementing trusted and long-term consumer relationships with greater strength than competitors. Herein lies a significant opportunity for organizations across the banking ecosystem.”

Click to view video

Banking institutions I’d probably trust the most, just because their whole business is based around money, investments and things like that, so the products you need to access those things, I feel like they would have the most protection.

Frances, 32, Rivers, Canada

Turnaround in fortunes

The 2008 financial crisis sent shock waves through the global economy. Fortunes were wiped out overnight. Families lost their homes. Employees lost their jobs. Pension funds shed their value. Credit markets froze. Stimulus measures were introduced around the world. And the recovery, uneven in nature, took years and for many is arguably still in progress.

Then scandals emerged: bonuses, short positions, betting against clients, the subprime debacle. Occupy Wall Street took hold. The reputational impact was profound and long lasting. Indeed, a widely read 2014 study of US millennials by Viacom found all four of the leading US banks were among the 10 least-loved brands among this generation.

Yet our research reveals that 10 years after the crisis, banks have weathered the reputational storm. Across the eight countries in which we spoke to consumers, Indian and Chinese consumers scored banks highest, at 75 and 74 percent respectively, whereas France scored lowest at 44 percent. Indeed, little difference exists between generations, with baby boomers, Generation X and millennials all attaching high levels of trust to banks at 59, 57 and 60 percent respectively, particularly when it comes to financial data.

Level of trust in industries (% that trust)