Generation Z “less cynical” about financial services sector

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Charles Bowman, will today (Thursday 15 March) unveil new research that shows that younger generations are “less cynical” about the financial services sector.

In a roundtable with financial and professional services firms at the Mansion House this morning, the Lord Mayor will discuss the findings of the research - compiled by research group Britain Thinks – that show public scepticism of the industry decreases in Generation Z (born between 1995-2012) participants.

The data from the paper, ‘Understanding Trust in Business', shows that banking apps and same-day transfers have helped build a bridge of trust between financial institutions and the public. Funding for start-ups, attracting inward investment and providing a mortgage for home-buyers were some of the top reasons participants listed they felt confident in financial services firms.

In total there were 36 participants across three focus groups interviewed in different UK cities - London, Nottingham and Edinburgh. Participants based in London had the least amount of trust in firms. The younger participants in the focus groups, aged between 18-29, were generally more positive about the sector.

Commenting on the report, Lord Mayor of the City of London, Charles Bowman, said:

“Trust in financial and professional services is essential for the sector’s long-term success.

“The financial services sector is much more than a big tax generator and job creator. Through start-up funding it encourages entrepreneurialism, facilitates freedom for on-the-go banking customers and helps establish the UK as a world-leading financial hub.

“I believe that starting from the grassroots, building on the foundations of trust, is the best way to make sure the public can see the full value of having this truly global hub right here in the UK.

“This report highlights where firms are making great strides, but also where more attention needs to be focussed. It’s now my job to discuss how the sector can raise its game during my time as Lord Mayor and beyond.”

The report also highlights ways in which public trust had been broken. Participants cited reasons for the mistrust including being “ripped off” and suggesting firms were “out for something”. They also said complicated jargon and “tricksy” loopholes led to a decline in how much trust they placed in firms.

The insight paper launched today forms part of the City of London Corporation’s, ‘Business of Trust’ initiative, which seeks to improve the trustworthiness of the UK financial and professional services sector and create a lasting-legacy of better business trusted by society.



Notes to editors

  1. The full report can be found here: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/business/responsible-city/Documents/understanding-trust-in-business.pdf 
  2. The report provides five recommendations linked to the CIVIC principles:
  • Do what you do well (Competence and Skills)
    • Be professional, fully trained and deliver to the highest standards.
    • Ensure quality and learn from any past failures.
    • Develop and support all staff working within the organisation, including through apprenticeships.
  • Do the right thing (Integrity)
    • Operate with integrity and do what you say you will.
    • Own up to and apologise for mistakes that are made.
    • Reward loyalty in customers and the right behaviours amongst staff.
  • Have a wider purpose (Value to Society)
    • Add value to others and act in the shared interests of customers, staff and the local community, for example, sponsoring local events, clubs and sports teams.
    • Treat employees well and in a ‘human’ way.
    • Pay what is considered to be the ‘correct’ amount of tax.
  • Focus on the customer (Interests of Others)
    • Focus on the customer and provide the service or product that you say you will at a fair price.
    • Keep customer data secure and protect against fraud.
    • Build relationships and offer a ‘human’ response in times of need.
  • Communicate clearly (Clear Communication)
    • Be honest and open, and provide clear communications written in simple, jargon-free English.
    • Build understanding and make yourself available
  1. About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

  1. About the Lord Mayor of the City of London:

The Lord Mayor is head of the Square Mile’s City of London authority for one year and the position is unpaid and apolitical. The Lord Mayor spends some 100 days abroad and addresses some 10,000 people face-to-face each month (making around 800 speeches a year).

The Lord Mayor represents City businesses and helps the City Corporation advise the Government of the day on what is needed to help the financial services sector to function well. The Lord Mayor frequently travels to represent the City and travels overseas with the status of a Cabinet Minister.

The Lord Mayor meets several international Heads of Government and Business each month to discuss financial services, often in conjunction with senior City business representatives. The Lord Mayor lives in the Mansion House for the Mayoral year.