Financial services firms live by their reputations. Whether you are a bank, an investment firm, an insurance agent or a credit union, you can't afford to put your reputation at risk.
Financial Services Firms trade on consumer trust, which means that they can't afford negative publicity
The above headline is self-evident. Yet, amazingly, even though financial executives know this to be true, they do not seem strongly motivated to do anything about it.
According to a new survey of communications executives at financial firms, conducted by Makovsky + Co., 96% of executives surveyed admit their firms invited the public's negative perceptions.
Think about that: 96% admit their firms were responsible for negative perceptions.
And it isn't as though these same executives don't think reputation is important. When it comes to their own compensation they are very interested.
A full 81% say they are worried about negative public reaction to executive compensation in the financial industry.
Many believe that this concern extends past self-interest and includes broader concerns about the way the financial services industry is perceived.
The head of the financial services practice at Makovsky+Co, said the communications executives understand the fallout from the way the industry carries itself and are looking to push the industry into being better for consumers this year.
"I think at the core of it is basically being more pro-consumer, pro-client versus pro-company, you are going to see that this year," he said. "You are seeing that they are worried."
Another aspect of this issue for financial firms is the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Even though these demonstrations are general in scope and do not usually target individual companies they do raise awareness of the behavior of all financial services firms.
Some think that all of these mean that financial services firms are going to begin taking their reputations more seriouslyónot just in the way they deal with their clients, but in the way the talk to the press about their business.
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