Australians don’t trust the financial services industry

Alison Banney 20 September 2017 NEWS

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Consumers trust the financial services industry even less than they trust the government and telecoms.

In a new survey of over 1500 Australian consumers, the financial services sector has been ranked as the least trustworthy out of five key industries. Australians ranked financial services as less trustworthy than tech companies, pharmaceutical, the federal government and telecoms.

The survey by Yell Creative and YouGov revealed that not only is the financial services industry the least trustworthy, but over one-third of consumers do not trust the financial services industry at all. Interestingly, consumers ranked the pharmaceutical industry as the most trustworthy of the five sectors.

The reason for the poor ranking?

Consumers said financial services companies put the business's needs first and disregard what is in the customer's best interest. This view is clearly shared with industry regulators. The banks have come under fire this year through various reviews, and there is an impending threat of an official Royal Commission into Australia's big banks.

In March, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) released the findings of its review into rogue financial advisers within our big banks saying "there is further work to be done to assist in rebuilding consumer trust and confidence in the financial advice industry."

Today's survey also revealed consumers are increasingly frustrated by the lack of transparency around fees and charges imposed by financial institutions. ASIC has ordered Australia's super funds to make their product disclosure statements easier to understand. Changes to the way they present their fees and charges are to be implemented as soon as 30 September this year.

If you're not happy with your bank, consider comparing your options and switching.

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