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Edelman: U.S. Remains More Trusting of Financial Services Industry than Other Developed Economies

Photo credit: Stuart Miles
Photo credit: Stuart Miles

The U.S. is still more trusting of the financial services industry than other developed economies, but the industry is only trusted by a majority of people in 9 markets, according to a new report.

Edelman, Chicago, published this finding in the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, the public relations firm’s 12 annual trust and credibility survey. The company polled 30,000-plus respondents in 25 countries, all college-educated individuals between the ages of 25 and 64 and who are in the top 25% of household income per age group in each country.

The survey discloses that 41% of U.S. respondents trust the financial services industry. This compares with 31% of Swedes, 29% of Brits, 20% of the French and just 16% of Spaniards.

The survey finds much higher levels of trust in the industry in less developed economies, including China (72%), Malaysia (67%), Indonesia (66%) and Singapore (64%).

Trust in financial services is higher than trust in business generally in 9 of 25 global markets. But, the survey reveals, the U.S. is more trusting of business (44%) than of financial services (41%).

Financial services (45%) and banks (47%) remain the least trusted industries globally: This compares, among the most trusted industries, with technology (79%), automotive (66%), food and beverage (64%) and consumer packaged goods (62%).

Trust in financial services and banking have, however, increased over the last year in the U.S. In 2012, trust in these sectors among Americans stood at 46% and 41%, respectively. These figures are up from 25% for each of the industries in 2011.

The survey adds that the financial services industry must win back trust among “distrusters” ages 30-64. Among those aged 30-44, 30% distrust the industry, as compared to 40% in the 45-64 cohort.

The highest percentage of industry distrusters in these age groups, the report adds, are men (53%); among women, the percentage is 47%.

The survey notes also that financial services distrusters turn first to traditional media (36%) and are more likely than “trusters” to use online search engines (31% versus 22%) for company announcements.

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