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Fin Tech Innovations More Trusted Than Industry as a Whole: Edelman

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Of the 15 industries included in the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer study, the financial services industry sectors, which includes financial services and banks, ranked 13 and 14 respectively — ahead of only the media.

Where the financial services industry came ahead on trust, though, is in innovation. For example, while the food and beverage industry is more trusted as a whole than financial services, electronic and mobile payments are more trusted, by far, than genetically modified foods.

“In 2014, innovations in financial services included the robo-advisor, mainstream interest around cyber currency, upswing of digital banking convergence and the broader entrance of peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding,” the global communications marketing firm says in a statement.

Looking more specifically at particular innovations, electronic and mobile payments was the most trusted innovation at a global level (69%), in comparison to innovations related to the health, technology and energy sectors.

Interestingly, the trust in innovations related to the financial services industry contradicts the low levels of overall trust in the financial services.

According to the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, it is the only example where an industry is more trusted to implement a specific innovation than it is as an industry as a whole.

For example, the technology industry carries far greater trust than the financial services industry (78% to 54% respectively). However when looking at the implementation of specific innovations, the financial services industry is slightly more trusted to implement electronic payments (62%) than the technology industry is trusted to develop and implement cloud computing (55%), according to the study.

Moreover, the food and beverage industry has a 67% overall trust level – but when it comes to the people’s confidence in the industry to implement genetically modified foods, trust plummets to 35%.

Deidre H. Campbell, global sector chair of financial services for Edelman, says the 2015 Edelman Financial Services Trust Barometer shows the public is “open to innovation.”

“Now is our chance to build on that. We need to make them aware of what the industry is doing to improve security, safeguard our financial systems and bring greater access to developing communities around the world,” said Campbell in a statement. 

While the data shows that people are ready for innovations that will provide convenience, the data also shows that they want the risks associated with these innovations managed with regulation. Government regulation of the financial services industry is perceived to be too low, according to the trust barometer. Globally, 54% of the informed public believe there is not enough regulation of the industry and 15% believe there is too much regulation.

Looking at each of the four major financial markets, the majority of the informed public believe there is not enough regulation of the financial services industry. In the UK, a remarkable 77% say there is not enough regulation, compared with the 2% that say there is too much regulation. In Hong Kong, 58% want more regulation, as opposed to the 7% that say there is already too much regulation.

The U.S. reports 45% of the informed public say there is not enough regulation, compared with the 27% that say there is too much regulation. Singapore has 44% wanting more regulation, as opposed to the 13% that want less regulation.

The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer consisted of 20-minute online interviews conducted from Oct. 13 to Nov. 24. The online survey sampled 27,000 general population respondents with an oversample of 6,000 members of the “informed public” ages 25 to 64 across 27 global markets. This group odf respondents were college-educated, had household income in the top quartile for their age in their country; read or watched business/news media at least several times a week, and followed public policy issues in the news at least several times a week.

— Check out Why Such Distrust? on ThinkAdvisor.


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