The discoveries made by the Royal Commission created a great level of angst, some debate, and a flurry of technical solutions. All this was reduced to 30-second media bites and the commentary of noise from television and print. One of the key subjects discussed throughout the enquiry was trust. Each and every one of the banks, financial services companies, and others, are guilty of having used the concept of trust as a shorthand marketing tool. They have thrown it into their marketing and website documents as a sort of safety net to capture a positive response from consumers.
Whilst we were offered and assured of trust in any future transactions with them, and in return, trust was requested of us, the very trust we have both given or purchased from financial services has long been tarnished through the behaviour of only a few.
Stephen Covey, an American expert on the subject of trust, describes it as a firm belief in integrity, intent, capabilities and results. As a corporate/cultural working model, trust may be considered a foundation on which to build awareness of the need for understanding between institution and customer. Trust has long been considered a vital component in developing and cultivating strong interpersonal relationships and is an important element of business.
My suggestion is that trust is too big of an ask for anyone, whether it be for us to give to them or for us to receive.
What about “respect”? We all wish to be treated with respect and part of that respect means transparency, which is based upon trust, goodwill and honesty. Historically, trust in the corporate world was taken as an excuse to take transparency out of the relationship between business and customer, however, as we know, transparency is needed in order to build trust.
I propose that we all offer and demand transparency and respect. This applies if we are customers, and if we are the 99% of employees of banks and financial service organisations who know and do what is right each and every day.
When we offer and seek respect, we can then step into relationships where our money, and our children, our communities and our values remain within our control. Trusting these to others has not worked in the past, so now it is time for us to step up, knowing what is right and what is wrong. It is imperative that we expect the former and identify the latter, both with mutual respect.