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Quarterly Trust Study Reveals Banking Industry Steady While Government Nosedives

Nationwide remains the UK’s most trusted bank brand, according to this quarter’s edition of the Banking Brand and Trust Index published by tech research platform, Glow.

The study found that while confidence in the banking industry has stayed steady throughout the COVID-19 crisis, it also revealed an increasing lack of trust in Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party, whose ranking has plummeted. 

The Trust Index surveys the views of UK citizens and tracks consumer confidence in the banking industry and its trustworthiness in relation to 16 other sectors and government departments. Overall, consumer trust in most UK banks has remained largely unchanged during COVID, with respected building societies like Nationwide and Halifax remaining strong at the top of the rankings, while The Royal Bank of Scotland continues to perform poorly.

The study, established to monitor the shifts in public perception of individual bank brands and the banking industry, has instead highlighted diminishing trust in the elected Government and government departments, which have seen their Trust Scores reduce by 10 and 12 points respectively. 

Neil Gupta, Glow’s UK Managing Director, said: “The UK banks are upholding their reputation and public confidence is the first true test since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.”

He continued, “Glow’s data shows the banking industry has only felt a minor dip in confidence — a testament to the resilience of their reputations built over the last 12 years.”

“It’s pleasing to see consumers have maintained, even slightly uplifted, their attitudes towards department stores and electronics manufacturers.” Neil said, “but concerning that confidence in the Government and its departments has taken a big downturn.”   

A similar study in Australia found trust in its government improved by 10 points, despite extreme lockdown restrictions, while the UK reopens. 

This study uses a unique methodology to rank trust relative to competitors, awarding each bank a Net Trust Score of between -100 and +100.

Nationwide, with a Trust Score of 31, remains the UK’s most trusted bank brand, with a five point lead on all competitors. Halifax, Lloyds, Natwest and Tesco make up the remainder of the top five, scoring 24, 21, 21 and 19 respectively. Barclays ranks 8th and scored 18, and HSBC ranks 10th and scored 17. TSB sits outside of the top 10, scoring 15. The Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK’s worst performing brand, decreases further from 8 to 5. 

How the banks compare

RankingBankAugust NTSApril NTSDifference
3Lloyds Bank2120(+1)
5Tesco Bank1918(+1)
6Barclays Bank1817(+1)
7The Co-Operative Bank1717
8HSBC Bank1720(-3)
9Santander UK1618(-2)
10Yorkshire Bank1618(-2)
11TSB Bank1513(+2)
12Metro Bank1312(+1)
13Clydesdale Bank1113(-2)
14Virgin Money912(-3)
15Bank of Scotland911(-2)
16The Royal Bank of Scotland58(-3)

Industry rankings

RankingIndustryAugust NTSApril NTSDifference
1Department Stores3029(+1)
2Electronics manufactures2928(+1)
3Electronics stores2727NA
4Telecommunications providers2221(+1)
6Internet search engines2122(-1)
7Automotive manufactures2123(-2)
9Alcoholic drink manufactures1818NA
10Private health insurance providers1819(-1)
11Liquor retailers1817(-1)
12Fast food outlets1715(-2)
13Superannuation funds1312(-1)
14Governmental departments719(-12)
15Elected government414(-10)
17Social media platforms-13-10(-3)