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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Interpersonal relationships to the fore as crisis erodes trust in banks

Trust in banks among consumer and corporate customers has been pushed to an all-time low, as 'financial stability' outscores 'convenience' as the number one reason for choosing a banking relationship,...

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Trust - A Turmoiling Trait ?

Surveys in this phase of turmoil (recovery?) indicate that the customer priorities for choosing Banks are "Financial stability”, "Trust" and "customer focus" of Banks- Interpersonal relationships to the fore as crisis erodes trust in banks . The term stability of a bank was never in the top priorities, till customer felt that what is projected by Banks as stable financial partner is virtual and banks can perish in no time leaving their savings and trust to dust.

Trust is the foundation on which relationship is made. It is more than delivering what customer expects from relationship, the intangible bond which will keep the customer with the Bank in thick and thin. The feeling of trust should be passed by bank in every moment of truth, every moment of trust. Every transaction be it financial on non financial, be it teller originated or self serviced, be it customer invoked or scheduled, completion of such customer requests in its letter and spirit with optimal choice of options will accumulate the trust showered by customer.

Trust is an investment account Bank keeps with customer. Bank needs to maintain mirror account in their corporate books and replenish it in every transaction with customer. The moment, balance in such mirror account depletes it would be a sure indication that the real liability / asset account bank maintains would be evaporated in no time.

The challenge is quantifying the balance and reconciling it with the actual trust as gauged by customer. Such surveys throw open numbers to Banks as account reconciliation data pointers. Banks may not wait for independent surveys to come out with data; the personified front offices of Banks would be able to read satisfaction indicators of customers in every transaction. Relationship Managers interacting with clientele would be financial doctors to read the pulse of customers.

What differentiates traditional banks from the third generation contactless financial institutions is the long standing trust. Bringing up an earlier blog - Bank Positioning - Custodian of Customer Trust (posted on 12 Feb. 08), underlines that the fact is a fact forever and is not relational to circumstances. Going back to basics to talk to customer and understand the aspirations would be the right step to take at this moment.


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