Think about the financial services companies you deal with on a daily basis. It could be your bank, your credit card provider or your pension scheme, for example. What are your dealings with them like? And, perhaps an even more important question, do you trust them? According to research from Octopus Investments, a large number of people don't.
The research found that only one in five (20%) of those surveyed trust the financial firms they deal with, while almost twice as many (38%) say they don't trust them. This mistrust was particularly prevalent among the over-55 age group, with 43% saying they don't trust them, a worrying proportion given the fact that this is the age group who will need even more contact with financial services firms as they consider the new pension options.
Despite this clear lack of trust, financial services firms can take comfort in the fact that, even though 21% of respondents couldn't think of anything that would restore their faith in financial firms, others were a bit more forgiving. A number of specific actions were identified that would help them trust companies more, and being more open and honest was the most common request (35%).
More than a third of respondents wanted financial firms to talk in plain English and to stop using jargon that can make saving and investing seem even more complicated, and a further 30% said that putting an end to excessive bonuses for bankers would be key to rebuilding trust. Another 20% wanted companies to provide more helpful information that properly explained investment options, while 14% would welcome firms putting them in touch with a financial adviser.
Simon Rogerson, CEO of Octopus Investments, commented: "The millions of people that benefit from the Government's radical pensions shake-up are not going to turn into financial experts overnight. With so many options to consider, the financial services industry has a vital role to play to help people make the right decisions at the right time. No one will be surprised that our research shows trust in financial services remains at rock bottom. It is only going to improve if financial firms start setting a more positive example, and they need to start now."
If you don't trust the financial firms you deal with – and aren't convinced that anything they do can make you think otherwise – it could be time to look elsewhere. You could find that another provider is able to offer a better service that could go some way to restoring your faith in the industry, and it needn't be that difficult to make the change.
For example, if you're not happy with your current account, make the most of the Current Account Switch Guarantee and find an alternative! Switching credit cards could be just as simple – and if you opt for a 0% balance transfer credit card, you could save on interest as well – or if the performance of your savings account is disappointing, check out our best buys to see if there's a better deal. Anything you can do to improve your experience would be worthwhile, so don't sit and wait for financial firms to offer something better – get out there and take a look yourself!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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