Majority of consumers do not believe major banks’ advertising

A recent PUB (Belgian trade magazine) and InSites Consulting survey organised early April shows that the Belgians are rather satisfied about their bank. Since the start of the economic crisis in 2008 very few people have left their main bank. The four major banks (BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC, ING and Belfius) obtain an average score of just under 7 out of 10, the Internet banks and smaller banks obtain scores around 7.5 out of 10. However, it is striking that the general trust in banks is in bad shape. 61% of respondents say that their trust in the major banks has decreased drastically since 2008; one out of three says to have more trust in smaller and more specialised banks.
A majority of the respondents have the perception that the four major banks are more expensive than other banks. This is important information, given the fact that price is the main criterion when choosing a bank for savings or investments.

Clear expectations towards banks

Firstly, as a consumer, the respondents want to be informed: the bank is there to make their financial life easier. Furthermore respondents attach a great deal of importance to a personal approach. 73% expect personalised advice, 59% wants the bank to think along with them. The survey shows, however, that consumers do not have the impression that their needs are listened to sufficiently, or that the customer is the central point of focus.
When asked to what extent the bank’s advertising fits with one’s own experience, the major banks obtain average scores of only 34%. Only a minority of the customers think that their major bank’s slogan is credible. The bank and insurance sector in Belgium is the fourth most important investor in advertising in the media.
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