Public confidence in banks remains low more than a decade after the financial crash

More than a decade after the financial crash that left taxpayers hooked on tens of billions of dollars in bank bailouts, confidence in the banking sector remains at extremely low levels, a new survey released this morning shows.

Top 80% of people still don’t trust bank bosses to act with integrity, especially when things go wrong, according to the Irish Banking Culture Board’s latest report on public confidence in banking.

As the banks continue to pay millions in fines for their role in the mortgage scandal, they have failed miserably to restore public, business and farmer confidence.

The report of the board of directors, which was founded here in 2019 by the five largest banks, reveals the public’s deep distrust of the institutions.

It shows that 80 percent of respondents say banks do not care about people in vulnerable positions or take responsibility for bad behavior or mistakes.

The damning indictment of the banks’ behavior comes as both KBC and Ulster Bank prepare to exit the market here, severely reducing competition in retail banking in Ireland.

Of the more than 1,000 people surveyed, 80 percent believe banks show no evidence that they are doing something good for society, while the same percentage do not believe banks put customers’ needs first in their decisions.

The Irish Banking Culture Board has tried to disguise the dismal results by insisting they show confidence in the banking sector “remains resilient”.

But its chief executive, Marion Kelly, conceded that the report is “a clear example of the scale of the challenge in changing banking culture in Ireland”.

“Progress is being made, but the process of cultural improvement will take time,” she said.

But almost 15 years after the Irish banking sector began to go down the drain, the banks still have not accumulated any significant social capital whatsoever on their balance sheets.

The report claims that the fact that the public’s near-total distrust of banks’ integrity has not deteriorated over the past year is “significant”.

The Chair of the Irish Banking Culture Board, former High Court Justice John Hedigan, said “more needs to be done to allay the ingrained distrust of the banking sector among the Irish public”.

He said that “continued positive behavior” from retail banks was needed to restore confidence.

For the first time, farmers were specifically included in the survey.

It turns out they have a deep distrust of banks.

Half of them do not believe that banks offer them cheap financing.

While 41pc say banks are not responding when dealing with farmers.

The poll also found that factors like runaway inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine mean most people believe the economy is in for a shock next year. Public confidence in banks remains low more than a decade after the financial crash

Fry Electronics Team

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