More than 5 years into an economic crisis which has taken on several names – from subprime crisis and financial crisis to recession in some countries – no term accurately depicts the fundamental result of this economic turbulence within the banking world: banks are still facing hardship when it comes to restoring trust and confidence and incidentally, when it comes to communicate efficiently.

Reversing the damage caused by the 2008 crisis and some recent scandals that have raised doubts over the integrity of banking and finance remains a major challenge to a majority of banks worldwide.

Restoring or rebuilding trust requires more open and transparent governance, stronger institutions, and clear rules.

The task is great but not hopeless.


Most banks have to focus on better communication strategies to restore both trust and growth.

To make it happen, bankers   must first embark on a path of further structural reforms and make it clear that customers are the real center of their actions.

Otherwise, public trust will continue to erode as bank’s clients have globally lost confidence in financial markets and in the ability of banking institutions to deliver efficient and equitable solutions.

There are actually very good reasons why the public has lost confidence in banking and finance.

Two issues in particular still need to be addressed before it can be really restored: moral hazard and conflict of interest.

Additional reforms should ensure that banks and bankers –not taxpayers and clients- pay the price of failure and are held fully accountable for their actions.

In today’s interconnected world, clients and stakeholders are raising the bar for what’s acceptable in banking behavior.

It’s up to boards and board members to ensure that banks meet those expectations.

Now, in our view, there’s a whole host of reasons for choosing a bank just on the basis on its communication strategy , keeping in mind that banks  should put the needs and goals of their clients at the heart of what they do and make sure they can deliver in a timely way what they promise


To us, today, an ideal banking partner regardless we’re talking about Corporate Banking, Wealth Management and Private Banking, Investment Banking, or on-line Banking, should communicate on the following drivers:

  • 1.       Trust and Expertise.

Success depends on the ability to maintain the trust of the stakeholders. Banks must be reliable partners to their clients – placing their interests first and offering them high-quality advice. Also, a strong capital and liquidity position, an early adoption of new regulations and a compliance and proven control culture help to strengthen confidence in banks.

  • 2.       Corporate Governance.

The way banks interact with their stakeholders is of the utmost importance for their business. By acting with integrity, transparency and discretion, banks can inspire trust in their clients, shareholders, employees and other members of society.

  • 3.       Due Diligence, Risk Assessments and Sustainability.

A responsible approach to banking is essential to achieve long-term success.

Banks must expect all their employees to meet the highest standards of conduct and professionalism and to comply with applicable laws and regulations, due diligence requirements and industry guidelines.

They must also consider sustainability issues in their risk review process and whenever necessary be in a position to offer a broad range of products and services that give investors access to sustainable investment opportunities.

  • 4.       Role in the Economy and Society.

The first priority to banks should be to conduct the core banking operations responsibly and efficiently in order to generate sustained value for their clients, shareholders and employees.

At the same time, banks should better contribute to the economy through their business activities and to help build a more stable social environment.

  • 5.       Sponsorship.

Sponsorship projects should form a much greater part of the social commitments of banks.

Banks should focus more on the areas of music and the fine arts, as well as golf, polo, equestrian sports.

Again, what is clearly at stake here is responsibility in Banking and responsibility in Society.

More than in any other sector, banks prior to communicate should steadily improve their service quality, which should be their most important feature and the one that makes their clients choosing them!

Continued strong investment in innovation and in emerging technologies will be pivotal in achieving this goal.

Going mobile money is one of them meaning here:

Using a cell phone as a “cashless wallet” in a physical store, sending money via electronic remittance using a cell phone handset, paying for services via SMS, paying merchants for goods bought and sold online…

And while there are many bumps in the road ahead for banks when it comes to restoring trust, the potential exists for the “too big to fail” banks to globally re-emerge if they are ready to leverage many of their inherent advantages !

Again, in today’s interconnected world, a value chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

And, trust is just this weakest link.

Time has come for banks to learn how  to better communicate should they want being more credible  as  « trust is like a paper,  onced it’s crumbled it can’t be perfect » !…

PHLDUCX – Publisher & Executive Editor – Professor of Finance & Banking -