Have banks given up trying to be good citizens? Sometimes you get that feeling - and also understanding that the avalanche of generalizing populistic condemning can lead to a give-up feeling even in the blameless banks.
Of course it is difficult for the man on the street to understand why the market practice in the financial industry is so bonus-focused - and easy for the press to portray this as pure greed.
To get back to anything like a normal image will take time - and no single trick - certainly not formal busywork - will do it. It takes serious work with service simplification programs, clear and concise communication, long term incentive programs and
above all innovations.
If the banks can say for example that their new targets are:
1. to help the SME-sector to cut its administrative cost in half - and start doing it in the field of extended payments
2. to introduce systematically new tools needed for business, the public sector and consumers alike in the networked economy
3. to help the public sector to expand e-services by for example offering the strong e-id used in e-banking for reuse - and thus save massively tax payer's money
Then people will understand that banks can actually be more useful partners than before - and the image trend for the industry will change direction.
It does not take more than modest investments - but it takes a real will to produce new dimensions of value - and understanding that only banks have the capability to do it fast and at low cost - if they come together in standardization efforts.
Do not tell me that helping enterprises to cut their cost in half and save 225 billions a year in EU on e-invoicing alone - with modest investments - is not a business case.