The great Australian trust deficit affecting financial services

Australian Securities and Investments Commission(ASIC) Chair, James Shipton, opened the corporate regulator’s annual forum stating that financial services is one of the least trusted industries.

Addressing the forum he said, “For there to be sufficiently high levels of trust in the financial system, we need both infrastructure and people worthy of that trust.”

He said trust, and trustworthiness, is at the very heart of the financial system and the relationships that underpin it and that the trust deficit is one of the key fault lines in the financial system.

“Trust has to be earnt, it cannot magically appear or, importantly for me as a regulator, be legislated for overnight,” he told the ASIC Annual Forum 2018.

He says every cent in the financial system is “other people’s money”.

“Finance is not just numbers on a computer screen or just a means to receive a commission or a bonus,” he says.

“Nor is it just about institutions or companies.

“It always comes back to people: finance is a vital component of real people’s lives.

In order to re-build trust in finance he suggested greater levels of professionalism and said trustworthiness is about competence, care, and ethics.

“Since conscientiousness turns on a person’s ability to care about people and the person’s ethics I would suggest that one way of exhibiting trustworthiness, and thus rebuilding trust, is to exhibit professionalism.”