Perceptions of banking in four major hubs
August 2nd, 2021, Christien Pheby

Perceptions of banking in four major hubs

Data from YouGov Profiles allows us to look at how consumers perceive banks in markets all over the world. Zeroing in on four major financial centres – Great Britain, the US, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland – reveals a range of different attitudes.

Seven in ten Britons, for example, believe “all banks are basically the same”, compared to just over half of Americans (53%), nearly half of Emiratis (48%), and three in ten Swiss consumers (29%). While each of these countries boasts a major financial services hub for its respective region, in Switzerland – where the banking sector is tied up with national identity – they may seem less homogenous than they do elsewhere. In Britain, then, financial services companies may need to do more to differentiate themselves from the competition.

But if Swiss customers don’t think all banks are the same, this may not necessarily be to the banks’ advantage. Among all four markets, they are the most likely to be suspicious of these organisations: just three in ten (29%) say banks and financial services providers can be trusted compared to over half of Americans (54%) and Britons (51%), and nearly as many Emirati customers (48%). Swiss consumers are also most likely to say that banks try to trick people out of their money (49%) compared to just a third (34%) of Britons. It seems likely that major banking scandals such as SwissLeaks – most recently including reputational damage to institutions such as Credit Suisse from the Greensill and Archegos affairs – could be having an effect on popular perceptions of an important industry.


YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data referenced is based on a sample size of [overall audience size used, eg., American millennials who play video games]. Online interviews were conducted [between October 2020 – October 2021 OR over the last XX days]. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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