Interesting blog here from Chris Skinner, well-known commentator on banking and payments (@Chris_Skinner), noting the shift in many retail banks away from giving advice after being hammered financially and reputationally after mis-selling: “Firms have shelled out a scarcely credible $607 billion in fines for conduct-related misdemeanours since 2010, the bulk of them related to fines and redress over mis-selling claims.” Scarcely credible indeed.

Chris asks two critical questions:

  1. Is it too late for banks to reverse the trust problem (can they say trust me as an advisor when, for the past half century, they’ve tilted to the opposite don’t trust me, I’m just a sales machine)?
  2. If banks provide no advice, then what do they provide (that is not easily replicable)?

Credit unions and other community finance providers retain the trust of their members and customers. How best to use it?