Emerald Isle’s Banking Culture Board: Trust in Banks Remains Submerged

“Trust in Irish Banks Shows Marginal Improvement, but Remains Submerged: Annual Survey by Irish Banking Culture Board Reveals”
Emerald Isle's Banking Culture Board: Trust in Banks Remains Submerged

Trust in Irish banks has seen a slight improvement, according to the annual survey conducted by the Irish Banking Culture Board. The survey, which aims to enhance standards and promote accountability in the banking sector, revealed that trust levels among customers and small firms remain low, although there has been a small increase from the previous year.

The survey also highlighted the strong trust that customers have in their local bank branches, despite the closure of many branches in recent years. Trust levels currently stand at a negative score of 15, an improvement from the negative score of 25 recorded last year. Small firms also showed a slight improvement, but their trust score remains negative at five points.

This survey comes at a time when the banking sector in Ireland has experienced significant changes, with the exits of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank in the Republic. These banks were once competitors in pricing banking services and home loans with AIB and Bank of Ireland. As a result of their departure, AIB, Bank of Ireland, and Permanent TSB have taken on approximately one million accounts.

The survey emphasized that people’s relationship with their local bank branch remains the area where trust in banks is strongest. The Irish Banking Culture Board, which consists of representatives from banks, consumers, small firms, the Irish Farmers’ Association, and the Financial Services Union, stated in its report that while the banking sector in Ireland is still undergoing changes, progress is being made.

Marion Kelly, the Chief Executive of the Irish Banking Culture Board, acknowledged the challenges faced by the sector and emphasized the need for accelerated progress. She also noted that the survey results were influenced by negative public sentiment following the departure of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank. Factors such as mortgage interest rates and the governmental budgetary surplus, which came after the survey period, likely influenced respondents’ opinions.

In conclusion, the survey conducted by the Irish Banking Culture Board indicates a slight improvement in trust levels in Irish banks. However, there is still work to be done to regain the trust of customers and small firms. The board acknowledges the challenges and calls for a faster pace of progress in the banking sector.