The Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced a request for information Friday to implement an annual survey aimed at tracking public trust in banking and bank supervision.
The survey’s goal would be to understand, measure, and track public trust in banking and oversight of the industry by the OCC and other regulators. The request for information is seeking voluntary input from interested members of the public regarding the proposed survey, including:
- Financial industry participants;
- Government agencies;
- Academic and research organizations;
- Consumer advocacy and financial education organizations;
- Trade associations; and
- Financial services customers.
The OCC said in a press release it would intend to publish the results of the survey in a report, which could be used to “inform policymakers, bankers, and researchers about the trends and drivers of public trust in banking and bank supervision,” the agency said.
Further, the agency plans for the survey to “either directly measure trust (e.g., rank level of trust from 1-5) or indirectly, by inferring trust from reported behaviors (e.g., closing a bank account, switching financial institutions),” it said in its request published in the Federal Register.
The OCC added it will be important the survey distinguishes between “broad scope trust,” such as trust within financial institutions as a whole, vs. “narrow scope trust,” or trust in one’s own financial institution.
The agency cited research suggesting there are four important drivers that might affect customers’ trust in financial institutions:
- Economic factors (e.g., unemployment rate or a financial crisis);
- Direct personal experience (e.g., quality of financial services delivered);
- Customers’ personal characteristics (e.g., financial literacy, demographic characteristics, or economic and political views); and
- Government oversight and policy measures (e.g., financial regulators, laws, and government)
Comments on the request are due by Oct. 10.