UK consumer confidence doubles over the past decade

UK consumer confidence in financial institutions has doubled since 2010, according to research from Harris Interactive.

Its investigation explored consumer trust and confidence in financial services and which aspects of personal finance were most important to consumers.

Out of 17 options, transparency on returns and fees was the highest to rank, despite it only coming 12th on performance.

Safeguards for personal information, account/product security measures, and customer service ranked second, third and fourth respectively in performance. These all came in the top five for performance.

While return on investment was the fifth most important to consumers, it was the second to lowest in performance. The worst performing area was rewarding loyalty, even though it was the eighth most important to consumers.

All financial services examined for the research witnessed a “significant rise” in consumer confidence since 2010. On average, trust doubled.

Trust in the Financial Conduct Authority jumped from 21% to 45% and high street banks saw it rise from 22% to 46%.

Credit card companies also saw trust levels increase, going from 14% to 35%.

Harris Interactive interim associate director Mark Foran said, “With the volatility of the financial markets and the uncertain economy, it is interesting, and perhaps surprising, to see continued growth in confidence and trust among the general public when it comes to the FS sector.

“For the most part, financial institutions have been prioritising consumer concerns – particularly regarding data security and communication – and this is resonating with the public.”

“For instance, providing a choice of ways to interact was the best performing factor for FS, with 78% of respondents confirming this. Evidently investments in improving the consumer experience have paid off, but work remains to be done in the areas of transparency and reward.”

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