Which? magazine found that only 11% of the 2,060 respondents thought bankers acted in the best interest of the consumer, and 67% believed that bankers won’t lose their jobs if they lie or cheat.
Around 63% thought bankers were unlikely to lose their job if they failed to comply with industry codes of conduct, and 64% believed bankers consistently give poor service.
More people say they distrusted bankers than estate agents, and only 6% of people say they associate ethical behaviour with bankers.
Bankers rated among the bottom three least trusted professionals, which also included journalists and politicians.
Which? is launching a campaign today called the Big Change, which calls on banks to put customers first and try to change the public’s perceptions.
The campaign wants to be required to comply with a code of conduct like the medical profession with a potential to be struck off for malpractice, and for senior to have training in ethical behaviour.
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said, “We thought we’d seen banking at its lowest point when the public were forced to bail out the banks but since then we’ve seen the Libor rate-rigging scandal and continued mis-selling. All the while the bankers who presided over corruption continue to enjoy hugely inflated pay and bonuses.
“Consumers are continually being short changed – we need to see Big Change in banking now. Customer service should come before sales, standards and ethics must improve, and bankers must be held to account . We want banks for customers, not bankers.”
The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards is set to outline its recommendations in December on changes to the banking culture.