India’s financial services high on Trust

28 Jan,2019


By A Correspondent


Even a  decade after the global financial crisis and last year’s cloud over the working of some banks, the Indian financial services sector is a riding a high according to a study by Pitchfork Partners, a Mumbai-based communication strategy consultancy, and MHP, a global communication consultancy. An overwhelming majority in India felt that the sector’s reputation was strong. The Financial Services Reputation Index (FSRI) India Report – the study was conducted across Asia and similar reports were drawn up for various countries – showed that payment systems were rapidly gaining acceptance with more 91% saying they were positive about them.


Banks, despite the turbulence they have faced over the past few years, made a strong showing – 89% of the respondents were positive about them while 75% said bankers were the most trustworthy among six professions that also included lawyers, property agents, journalists, politicians and policemen.


Said Jaideep Shergill, co-founder, Pitchfork Partners: “Increased regulation and competition across Asia have raised consumer trust in financial services, but most consumers would like to see even more transparency.” Indeed, when asked what Indian financial services companies can do to enhance their reputations, improved customer service (23%) and transparency (20%) ranked the highest.


Data security emerged as a major fear with 25% of the respondents saying they were concerned about their data being stolen.


Added Shergill: “In this day and age, data security is a natural concern – even more so than promised performance and results. This comes as no surprise given the number of high-profile data breaches across the region in the past year.”


Business intelligence firm ORC International conducted the research for the FSRI report. It included one-on-one interviews with prominent CEOs/CMOs/CCOs and a survey of 1,000 consumers in each market.


The study showed that HDFC Group and public sector behemoth State Bank of India were the most trusted Indian financial services brands. New-age, technology-led brands like Paytm and Paypal also featured in the top 10.


Respondents were interested also in the social responsibility aspects of financial services firms – 78% said that while selecting a company it mattered that it was a responsible one; 75% said they wanted the companies to give back to the community in some way.


PostScript: Bankers are the most trustworthy of professionals, followed by lawyers. Interestingly, journalists are #4 amongst six, a notch lower than even real estate agents. Ouch!


Access the full study here:


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