www.CUNA.org/newsnow (05/13/2009) Credit unions made major gains in trust, reliability and confidence during the first four months of 2009, according to a new Trust Study released by TNS, a custom research company. The company surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in October 2008 and January and April 2009 to chart trust levels across several major industries.
"The fact that credit unions have improved their consumer trust and confidence scores implies they are doing a better job of engaging their customers and making them feel safe with their financial choices," said Trish Dorsey, Senior Vice President, Financial Services Brand and Communications, TNS. "The larger institutions need to step up and take a leadership role in reassuring customers of their financial stability."
Despite large-scale brand marketing initiatives, the nation's large national banks, insurance companies and brokerages continued to slip further behind credit unions and smaller regional banks in consumer trust ratings.
"The exceptional news is the way that credit unions are making such positive progress... despite continuing economic and financial insecurity," said TNS. "Consumers surveyed showed significantly greater trust and confidence in these smaller players who they feel show greater understanding and reliability than the large national banks."
Reflecting the economy, consumer trust decreased across the board during the first four months of 2009, with the largest drop for banks and brokerage/ investment firms, public sector/ government, and automotive sector from the prior period (October 2008 to January 2009). Although every category saw a drop in confidence levels, credit unions experienced the least decline, with 17% of consumers surveyed saying their trust had declined in the past three months. That compares with 61% whose trust had declined in large national banks, and 24% for small local and regional banks.