Gallup recently published a poll reflecting that baby-boomers, more than any other category, doesn’t trust bankers. That should really come as no surprise since of all the generational age groups, none other has interfaced more with banks than them. They are also the largest segment of U.S. taxpayers, many of whom are still fuming about the banking bailouts.
Nearly nine in 10 baby boomers (89%) currently have at least one checking, savings or a money market account at a bank or another financial institution. But Gallup’s 2013 retail banking study shows that just 12% of baby boomers with active bank accounts trust banks a “great deal,” with the majority placing only “some” or “very little” trust in these institutions.
On top of this, baby-boomer bank customers are among the least satisfied of any generation with the banking industry overall; nearly one in four in this generation are dissatisfied, with 9% not satisfied at all and another 14% dissatisfied. Trust has taken a hard blow in our trade, which formerly enjoyed an almost synonymous relationship with the word – remember “bank & trust.”
It’s no surprise. There have always been outlier stories about bank fraud and embezzlement, and to be sure, once the Glass Steagall Act was discarded and commercial bankers were lumped together with investment bankers and insurance salesmen, what did you expect?
But think back over the events of past six years:
Alt-A & Sub-Prime Mortgages – if they were so bad, why were we making them?
Financial Derivatives – whiz-kid financial engineers outsmarted us – and themselves.
Government Bailouts – too-big-to-imagine.
Money Laundering – foreign banks washing foreign cash in the U.S.
LIBOR manipulation – European version of arrogant money scandal.
Currency manipulation – Cheating best customers $.0001/whack.
Ok, so small business lenders don’t touch any of this stuff, right? They shouldn’t be piled into the whole mess around banker trust? Sorry but we’ve got our share of bruises as well: Remember Pat Harrington/BLX, EDF Resource Capital and Small Business Capital Corp.?
You probably didn’t cause any of this and even given the chance, probably would have avoided all of it. But you still have to do business every day with the weight of all these sins around the business you do.
So what are you doing to do today to build trust in yourself, your company and your industry?
Read more at Gallup.