Overview

Trust is foundational to the relationship between banks and their accountholders. Whether it comes to having confidence in the security of funds or faith in the guidance of a financial adviser, trust is key to building satisfying, long-term banking relationships.  In banking, trust falls into two categories: reliability: the belief that a financial institution will keep its commitments to accountholders, and goodwill: the belief that a financial institution is looking out for its accountholders' best interests. This report ranks seventeen of the largest financial institutions in the US according to their level of trust among accountholders and considers the factors that can engender or undermine trust in a financial institution.

Key questions discussed in this report:

  • Which U.S. financial institutions are trusted most by their accountholders?
  • How do contemporary trends in fraud impact consumers trust in their financial institutions?
  • How does financial health relate to trust in banking?
  • What can financial institutions do to build trust with accountholders?

Methodology

Consumer data in this report is based on information gathered in several Javelin surveys administered in 2016 and 2017. Data was gathered and weighted to reflect a representative sample of the adult U.S. population:

  • A random-sample panel of 5,000 respondents in an October/November 2017 online survey. The margin of sampling error is ±1.39 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error is higher for questions answered by subsegments.
  • A random-sample panel of 10,768 respondents in a May/June 2017 online survey. The margin of sampling error is ±0.94 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error is higher for questions answered by subsegments.
  • A random-sample panel of 5,028 respondents in a November 2016 online survey. The margin of sampling error is ±1.40 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of sampling error is higher for questions answered by subsegments.

Trust scores were compiled from accountholders’ responses to four questions: Thinking of your primary financial institution (…), on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 10 being “strongly agree,” please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements:

  • Is looking out for my best interests
  • Keeps my personal information safe
  • Takes necessary steps to prevent fraud on my account
  • Protects from financial loss in cases of fraud

Respondents were considered to trust their primary financial institution in goodwill if they responded 8 or higher. Respondents were considered to trust their primary financial institution in reliability if they responded with an average of 8 or higher in reliability. Respondents were considered to trust their primary financial institution overall if they responded with an average of 8 or higher across goodwill and reliability, with both categories receiving equal weight.

Overall rankings were calculated using OLS regression to control for the effects of demographic factors such as age, income, and military background, which are outside the control of financial institutions.

Financial institutions were included in the rankings only if they had an unweighted sample exceeding 100 respondents within the combined data set who identified the financial institution as the primary place where they bank.