Financial Services Firms’ Reputation Still Shadowed by 2008 Crisis

The 2008 financial crisis continues to be felt by financial services firms and consumers, according to a new survey by Makovsky, a communications firm.

Ebiquity conducted an online poll of two groups for Makovsky in the spring: 228 executives responsible for the management and supervision of communications, marketing and investors relations for their financial services company of 500 or more employees, and a random sample of 1,079 adults representing the general U.S. population.

In fact, 61% of respondents said improving customer service was very important to strengthening their company’s reputation over the next year. Makovsky said this may explain why more than half of firms surveyed had conducted research into the effect of their reputation-building programs among over the past year.

Besides differentiating themselves from traditional competitors through customer service, more than three-quarters of communication professionals were worried about losing customers to alternative financial services providers such as Apple, Google and Amazon—which Makovsky said is a valid concern based on consumers’ survey responses. Although most consumers still preferred to trust traditional financial institutions with their personal information and privacy, 33% of respondents saw online banking accounts and 30% digital wallets as trustworthy alternatives to traditional banking solutions.

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