Consumers Bad-mouth Financial Services

The financial-services sector now evokes the sort of public distaste once reserved for the likes of Big Oil and Big Pharma, to judge from the sourpuss results of a survey by TNS.

Credit cards are a major source of consumer discontent. Sixty-one percent of respondents to the poll (conducted last month) rated themselves as “very” or “extremely” dissatisfied with the fees charged on credit cards. The same proportion were as dissatisfied with the cards’ interest rates.

The banking industry, which used to enjoy comparatively high levels of consumer esteem, is still in the doghouse. Most tellingly, fewer than half (43 percent) said they’re very/extremely satisfied by “routine matters with your bank.”

But it’s not as though they’re about to pull their money out of the bank and ship it to Wall Street. Just 14 percent said they anticipate improvement during the next six months in “the U.S. stock market and the value of their household investments.”

Nor are they confident the game isn’t rigged against them: Just 46 percent believe their “financial interests are adequately protected by today’s laws and regulations.”