Trust. The belief in the reliability of others. It’s an important indicator of people’s well-being and the overall cohesion of a society. In the UK, trust in politicians, media and business has been low for some time.
What about the banks? A 2018 YouGov poll on behalf of Positive Money found 66% of adults in Britain do not trust banks to work in the best interests of society.
It’s easy to see why. The global crash in 2008 saw UK taxpayers’ money being used to bail out several large financial institutions. There was also the protracted PPI mis-selling scandal – and now it’s mis-sold package bank accounts and investments.
The first legal judgment against PPI mis-selling came in 1993, but a 10-year confidentiality clause allowed lenders to keep it from the public. The banks engaged in a long legal battle to prevent a review of past PPI sales – and were finally defeated in the high court in 2011.
They ended up paying out a staggering £36 billion in compensation. Martyn James, of online resolution service, Resolver, believes the scandal has emboldened us to question the institutions we once trusted.
“We’re seeing whole new areas of complaint around loyalty charges, exit fees, data security and more being made – areas where people didn’t complain before. We’re no longer willing to put up with being treated badly and are vocal about it,” he says.
Yet, 47% of respondents in the Crystal Customer Survey would still go to their high street bank for a loan or mortgage. As with politics, where we often see blanket mistrust, the phrases “they’re all the same” and “better the devil you know” spring to mind.
So, if we must patronise our lofty institutions out of sheer necessity or lack of trusted alternative, the answer must be to keep questioning, pushing back – and arming ourselves with as much financial intelligence as we can.
That’s where Crystal can help. We offer trusted, expert guidance and information. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to see how we can help you recover, grow and protect your finances. Contact a specialist today on 01270 446600.