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Bank (mis)trust

Banks have largely failed to rebuild public trust, David De Cremer writes in Harvard Business Review.

Old Fashioned Bank Sign

David De Cremer

Professor David De Cremer

While banks have increased their number of compliance officers since the financial crisis of 2008, they have “more or less failed” in their strategy of rebuilding public trust, David De Cremer, KPMG Professor of Management Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School, writes in the Harvard Business Review.

The article cites the latest Edelman Trust Barometer, which finds that the only industry trusted less than finance and banking is the media.

“Banking clients particularly express concerns about whether the bank cares about their interests as well as its own interests,” says the article, entitled Why Our Trust in Banks Hasn’t Been Restored.

De Cremer argues that bankers need to be “focusing less on compliance and more on benevolence” – because only if benevolence is signalled clearly will other people reciprocate, leading to long-term and trusting relationships.