Financial Technology

Consumers rank credit unions as ‘most trusted’ financial service provider

Credit unions top the list of financial service providers most trusted by consumers.

ewer than one in five people trust traditional banks or the fast-growing fintechs (financial technology).

More than half of respondents to a survey reported a high level of trust in the community-owned credit unions.

This is compared with 39pc of people who would place this same level of trust in An Post.

Just 18pc feel the same about traditional banks or fintechs – such as Revolut or N26 – according to a survey commissioned by Peopl Insurance and carried out by iReach, which questioned 1,000 people. Peopl Insurance is behind insurance products sold by credit unions.

The survey found fintechs are the most likely to invoke a low level of trust from the general public. This is followed by traditional banks, An Post and the credit unions.

Traditional institutions such as the credit union and post office appeal most to older consumers. However, new banking apps and fintech banking services appeal most to younger people.

Some 77pc of those aged between 18 and 24 place a high trust value in fintech, but just 8pc of the over 55s trust the new digital payment apps.

The findings are consistent with other surveys which have found a high degree of trust in credit unions.

Chief executive of Peopl Insurance Paul Walsh said it was not surprising that credit unions and An Post garner a high level of trust given that they were a cornerstone of local communities.

“What is interesting, however, is that so few people extend the same sentiment towards banks that have been part of the financial landscape of this country for decades.”

He said fintech platforms had yet to earn public confidence.

“Banks have the highest proportion of low trust sentiment among consumers, perhaps due to the banking crisis post 2008, the tracker scandal, and recent closures nationwide. These may compound to erode public trust over time,” Mr Walsh said.

He said the mistrust of fintechs may be driven by the novelty of the technology, low awareness of its functionality, concerns around cyber-security and data uses, and the lack of a bricks-and-mortar shopfront, particularly among older consumers.

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