As published on theedgesingapore.com, Monday 13 February, 2023.
The annual Banking Trust Index for Singapore (BTIS) showed that trust in the Singapore banking industry has increased for the second consecutive year, announced the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) on Feb 13.
This is the third survey conducted by Edelman Data and Intelligence since its inception in 2020. In 2022, participating banks achieved 70 points on the Edelman Net Trust Score (ENTS), up from 63 points in 2021.
The ENTS is a 200-point scale that ranges from -100 to +100 if all respondents have a low trust of banks to all respondents having a high trust in banks. There were 15 participating banks in the 2022 survey. They are Bank of China, Bank of Singapore (BoS), Citibank, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (ICBC), JP Morgan, Maybank, Nomura Singapore, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), Standard Chartered Bank, UBS AG, and United Overseas Bank (UOB).
The survey, which was conducted from Sept 26 to Nov 7 in 2022, found that 74% out of the over 3,500 Singaporean respondents have “high trust” in the banks whereas 4% of respondents indicated that they have “low trust” in the country’s banks. The remaining respondents - 20% of them - either have moderate views or don’t have a view on Singapore banks.
Respondents surveyed said that their trust came from the banks’ resilience as seen in their “strong business and financial performance through the pandemic”. At the same time, respondents noted and appreciated the efforts that the industry put in to help customers guard themselves against scams. The banks’ handling of customer data were also noted to be with “integrity”.
Furthermore, there was a greater acknowledgement that banks in Singapore have not been associated with scandals and wrongdoing.
The survey also found that the public is confident on the banking industry’s ability to advance using technology and innovation to offer convenience and security to its customers in the next three to five years. This is done via the “necessary measures to curb re-occurrence of past errors” and raising customer awareness to protect their bank accounts from fraud.
Based on the survey’s findings, banks could further strengthen public trust by being more forthcoming about their business values and positive contribution to the wider community.
Areas where the industry could most improve on include transparency about mistakes, aligning with customer values, fair employment practices and positive social and environmental impact.
The BTIS is the first means of standardising the measurement of public trust in banks in Singapore. It is commissioned by the ABS to bring about a greater understanding of consumers’ trust in banks as well as areas where banks can improve on.
“We are very encouraged by the strong public trust in banks in Singapore. This motivates us to keep doing right by our customers and we will continue to honour the confidence they have in us. Trust is fundamental to the banking industry. We are committed to providing more convenient and innovative services in a responsible manner to customers,” says Wee Ee Chong, chairman of the ABS and CEO of UOB.
“Public trust in the banking sector stems not only from the resilience of banks in Singapore, but also from the way they serve their customers. Over the past year, banks have continued to raise their service standards and customers have noticed. We welcome the banking industry’s commitment to further grow this trust,” says Marcus Lim, assistant managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) banking and insurance department.