Consumer Confidence In Banking Takes A Hit
A recent survey has shown that consumers' confidence in banks has taken a real hit, with one of the major causes of this decreasing confidence thought to be the recent situation with Northern Rock. According to the results of the survey close to 25% of Brits state that they do not trust lenders, and less than 50% thought that high street banks could be trusted. The turmoil and chaos that erupted after Northern Rock was found to have taken a loan from the Bank of England, fuelling rumors of a near collapse and resulting in many of the bank's 1.5 million savers withdrawing billions of pounds worth of savings. As a result of this situation the Bank of England has stepped up assurance over the guarantee of savings of Northern Rock customers, as well as the savings of customers with other banks that fall into a similar situation. However, it seems that these assurances have done nothing for consumer confidence in banking, with over fifty percent stating that they no longer trust high street banks.
The survey revealed that of the 2484 people interviewed only 46% now trust high street banks. Building societies fared a little better, with 48% expressing confidence in building societies. Online banking has also taken a knock, with experts stating that reduced access to online bank accounts by Northern Rock customers also affecting this area of banking. Only 25% of consumers now trust online banking according to the survey results. One industry professional stated that consumer confidence in banking and finance was already fairly low, and added that the recent turmoil with Northern Rock has contributed to this lack of confidence.
It is not just the banking industry that has taken a knock, however, according to professionals. Lenders across the whole financial sector have been affected by lower levels of consumer confidence. It is thought that this could be as the result of problems throughout the whole of the financial sector, which has stemmed from the credit crunch sparked in the sub-prime sector in the Unites States, which has resulted in global repercussions.