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Consumers Expect Banks To Help Them Respond To The Financial Crisis


Most consumers expect the recession to generate a new era in banking

New York, NY — Most consumers expect the recession to generate a new era in banking with financial services providers more tightly regulated. The Financial Crisis study, that was conducted by TNS, the global market insight and information group, shows that although more financially aware, consumers are still looking to the banking industry to help them respond to this new environment.

The study looks at how the global financial crisis is affecting customers in four key countries; the UK, France, Germany and the US. It has specifically investigated how people are changing their behaviors and attitudes towards financial institutions and financial decisions.

Consumer Financial Behavior is changing

60% of all consumers polled are changing their financial behavior (US 62 %, UK 63 %, France 55% and Germany 53%). Changes include spreading money between several banks, moving money into cash and looking for more crisis-proof products and services. 12% of US respondents are putting their money into cash which is significantly higher than other countries polled (UK 5%, France 2%, Germany 3%) and 8% of them were also looking to change their current bank of savings/investment provider (UK 7%, France 3%, Germany 1%).

What Do Consumers Expect Of Their Banks?

Consumers are giving a clear signal that they expect their banks to act and reach out to them in this uncertain environment. Around half of consumers in the US (51%), UK (57%), France (50%), and Germany (45%), expect banks to respond to the changed economic landscape with the launch of new products which are better suited to the present situation. Unsurprisingly there is an appetite for lower risk products –just under half expect banks to launch new products which are low risk/reasonable yield (47% US, 50% UK, 48% France and 48% Germany).

According to the TNS Financial Crisis study banks should already be taking steps to win back customer loyalty. Forty percent of people (40% US, 44% UK, 35% France and 52% Germany) expect the banks to contact them with specific offers to help them manage their finances during the crisis. A significant number of consumers go further and now expect personal contact to discuss their own individual needs and to examine possible solutions (29% US, 22% UK, 40% France and 31% Germany). Also notable is that almost half of consumers expect their banks to take action to regain their trust, with 45% saying so in the US, 49% UK, 50% France, 44% Germany.

Bob Neuhaus, Global Head of TNS Finance comments: “Banks have largely been seen as causing of this current financial crisis – and consumers are expecting them to make changes. However consumer expectations are clearly that those same institutions will be helping them by developing appropriate financial products for the current situation, and communicating directly with sound advice on how to manage better at an individual level. This is a great opportunity for banks to increase trust, and win back customer loyalty.”

TNS Omnibus online study of 4239 consumers aged 16-64 December 2008.

About TNS

TNS is a global market information and insight group.

Its strategic goal is to be recognised as the global leader in delivering value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective business decisions.

TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network of 80 countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides high-quality information, analysis and insight that improves understanding of consumer behaviour.

TNS is the world’s leading provider of customised services, combining sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development & Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management and Retail & Shopper. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and audience measurement services.

TNS is the sixth sense of business™.

For more information about TNS, please visit

The Kantar Group

The Kantar Group is one of the world’s largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies – including the recently-acquired TNS – the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 80 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP Group plc. For further information, please visit


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