Why Consumers Still Trust High Street Banks Most

The traditional “high street” banks are trusted by U.K. consumers over financial tech upstarts and competitors ranging from supermarket banks to non-bank tech companies.

In a report announced Monday (July 13), research firm MoneySuperMarket said it had found in a survey of 2,000 consumers — asking which firms would garner the most trust with their money — that the leaders were big names including NatWest, Santander and Barclays. The group to which these lenders belong, known as “high street” banks, got the highest scores, with rankings of at least an eight out of 10 among 28 percent of those surveyed.

Following the big banks were supermarket and online financial services firms, with Marks and Spencer viewed as the “most trustworthy” company in that bunch with at least a seven out of 10 rating among more than a fifth of consumers. Coming in right behind that was Virgin Money with 21 percent.

The MoneySuperMarket survey found that non-banking companies have curried the least favor among respondents. Facebook grabbed a maximum of a two out of 10 rating from a majority of those surveyed, at 61 percent, and 40 percent gave Google the same rating. And only 7 percent of respondents said they would trust Facebook more than a high street institution.

Only one in 10 consumers said they would open an account with a technology giant such as Apple, Google or Facebook, with a higher level than that tied to the 18-to-34-year-old age group. Among older users, defined as 55 and older, the number of people who would open accounts with the aforementioned tech players drops to 3 percent.

The head of MoneySuperMarket’s banking operations, Kevin Mountford, said in the release announcing the report that “the traditional players still have the monopoly on the banking scene when it comes to consumer trust, with many people perhaps naturally cautious about the expertise and capability of new entrants.”


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