The image of Swiss banks has returned for the first time to pre-financial crisis levels, according to a survey by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA). Cybercrime remains a concern, however.
“The banks’ positive image is the result of a combination of their commercial success and social responsibility, and the respondents’ positive experiences with them in everyday life,” the SBA said in a statement on Wednesday.
In this study published every two years and conducted for the first time by the research institute gfs.bern, 51% of respondents said they had a “positive” opinion of banks, 7% were “very positive”. Two years ago, these figures were 44% and 5%, respectively.
Unchanged from 2017 were the 29% of respondents who had a “neither positive nor negative” image. The share of negative opinions dropped from 19% to 11%.
The banks scored highly as employers and are considered reliable and secure, according to the survey. The majority of respondents also viewed banks positively in terms of their importance for the economy and as a tax base. They also acknowledged their contribution to the good reputation of Switzerland.
“Sustainability, to the extent that respondents associate this with banks, is currently promoting their positive image. Over 90% of respondents give the banks excellent marks,” the SBA said.
Not all positive
At the same time, 48% believe that banks are at the heart of money laundering and financial scandals and 44% believe that they put profit before social responsibility.
When it came to risks from digitalisation and automation, 84% cited cybercrime and 79% the loss of banking jobs.
The representative survey was conducted by the gfs.bern polling institute between January 9 and January 29 among 1,000 Swiss citizens using computer-assisted telephone interviews.
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