The Comfort Consumer Trend in Financial Services: Trust and Safety

Datamonitor are  “flogging” a new report so these words are theirs and (in this instance at least) not mine!

I have been banging on about the need for FS companies to realise the error of their  ways and to “open up” so that they can really engage with customers using, in particular, social media. But the obstacle that refuses to go away is the need to embrace TRANSPARENCY!

Is their a more damning indictment of the state of our FS industry? Well YES…it is contained in the “HIGHLIGHTS” section below I have highlighted again so no-one within the industry can claim that they didn’t realise!

OK so you can win, even retain customers on price but that isn’t sufficient to sustain profitable retention levels when your price rises…even if others are also on the increase. Inertia has, for long enough, been a reliable source for retention too but these are times of austerity and it is a very foolish few who merely accept what they are told.

Then there is that old favourite of banks and credit card issuers…”indebtedness”. These guys love it because it is cheaper than earning loyalty through offering fair deals and decent service but, what they should now realise is that these unlucky customers won’t be around for too long. They either cannot afford their debts and you both lose (after you have taken a “haircut”).

You could “win” by getting back what you are owed BUT lose a customer for life…as well as the custom of anyone who asks them about their experience of dealing with your company. People’s practical experience will always trump the outbound sales effort of a spotty youth or a glossy campaign declaring undying love for customers. See below: REMEMBER THEY DON’T TRUST YOU OR LIKE YOU AND YOUR MARKET WILL DISAPPEAR AT THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY OR SIGN OF CREDIBLE COMPETITION.

Consumers in the FS industry look for protection and reassurance from their providers in order to feel a sense of safety. The loss of trust as a result of the global downturn has left consumers feeling uncertain. Trust needs to be rebuilt, not only to offer consumers financial safety but also to increase consumer engagement and build better relationships with customers.

Features and benefits

  • Strengthen customer relationships by driving an increase in consumer engagement.
  • Demonstrate customer knowledge via an understanding of how the Comfort trend can be used to rebuild trust on a regional level.
  • Satisfy consumer demands through understanding consumers’ need for protection and reassurance.
  • Restore trust by learning how to demonstrate real concern for consumers and the safety of their finances.


The highest demand for Comfort is seen in Brazil and South Africa where 78% of consumers demand this Megatrend. The demand for this trend is low in most of Europe where consumers badly affected by the downturn no longer trust their FS providers to protect them.

The UK government is duplicating efforts on Swiss accounts

I hate being taken for an idiot then treated like one again and again and again! But, I am a voter, have a brain and aWhich has more holes: UK Government policy or Swiss cheese? conscience. So I should be used to it by now I suppose.

Here is another example of the pathetic focus upon creating a "smokescreen" or taking credit for all the things that the Coalition liked about what the previous Government did and rubbishing the things that they now don’t…even when we were in favour at the time.

The mentality is all about "looking like they are doing the right things" in an attempt to convince people (particularly rating agencies) that they are serious about the task in hand…EVEN THOUGH FOCUS UPON SHORT TERM RESULTS WITHOUT DUE CONSIDERATION OF A WORTHWHILE AND SUSTAINABLE STRATEGY HAVE CONTRIBUTED GREATLY TO THE MESS WE ARE ALL IN…thanks to a lethal combination of – you guessed it – Politicians and Bankers!!!

In an effort to look tough on tax avoidance, the UK government is trumpeting the agreement that it has signed with Switzerland to begin negotiations to make Britons pay tax on their Swiss bank accounts. In reality, the EU Savings Tax Directive is already set up to do that, demonstrating that the government’s sabre-rattling offensive is populist and misguided.The declaration of intent between the UK and Switzerland to start negotiating on tax issues follows meetings between the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and the Swiss finance minister, Hans-Rudolf Merz. Formal negotiations are expected to start in early 2011.

However, the UK chancellor seems to have overlooked the fact that there is already an agreement that levies tax on all UK nationals\’ bank accounts in Switzerland. It is called the EU Savings Tax Directive and has been in place since July 1, 2005.

via Datamonitor Research Store – The British government is duplicating efforts on Swiss.