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Survey CUs win on trust reliability confidence
NEW YORK (5/13/09)--Credit unions made major gains in trust, reliability and confidence during the first four months of 2009, according to a new Trust Study released Tuesday by TNS, a custom research company.
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Despite large-scale brand marketing initiatives currently underway, 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. 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.
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"The exceptional news is the way that credit unions are making such positive progress across multiple trust dimensions, despite continuing economic and financial insecurity," said TNS. In the measures "across nine different trust dimensions, including overall, rational and emotional attitudes, 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." "The credit unions alone demonstrated significant bounce-back in consumer trust from January to April 2009," said TNS. It noted there were minor gains for small and regional banks but the "change was not significant."
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"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." "Consumers' continued distrust of large national banks and brokerages is a signal that they are looking to large financial institutions for strength and leadership," Dorsey said. "As a category, it is clear that they have not demonstrated their leadership position effectively and consumers are left feeling inadequately supported and deeply distrustful." The company surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in October 2008 and January and April 2009 to chart trust levels across several major industries.
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