Faced with economic and cost-of-living challenges, customers expect stronger levels of empathy and dependability from their banks 

LONDON, June 29, 2023 According to Forrester’s (Nasdaq: FORR) Financial Services Customer Trust Index, not a single UK, French, or Italian bank demonstrates strong levels of trust with its customers. Furthermore, many customers believe that European banks lack empathy and dependability, the most crucial attributes necessary to securing their trust, especially in a volatile economic environment. 

Forrester surveyed nearly 7,400 online adults across France, Italy, and the UK about their primary bank to measure and benchmark trust. Built upon Forrester’s seven levers of trust, the Financial Services Customer Trust Index offers data and insights to help brands assess customer trust, identify gaps, and prioritise improvements that drive growth. When banks enable greater trust with their customers, they can reap financial, competitive, and reputational benefits, including customers recommending the bank to others, being able to enter new or adjacent markets, and seeing customers be more willing to forgive them for mistakes. 

Key findings include the following: 

  • In the UK, empathy is the most important lever of trust for UK banks. Only 48% of customers believe that their primary bank understands their unique needs and feelings, however. In addition, UK customers want accountability. They want their bank to take responsibility for what it says and does, provide satisfactory reasons for its decisions and actions, and be ready to bear the consequences if it doesn’t. 
  • In France, dependability is the most important lever of trust for French banks, but only 57% of French banking customers feel that their primary bank exhibits this trait. Transparency is another critical trust lever in the region; little more than half of French customers believe that their bank is doing business in an open way. 
  • In Italy, trust in Italian banking brands is amongst the weakest in Europe. Like in the UK, empathy is the most important lever of trust for banks, yet only 59% of customers believe that their primary bank both understands their unique needs and feelings or is transparent about the way it does business. 

“Banks across Europe have an immediate opportunity to earn their customers’ trust if they make a dedicated effort to understand their customers’ wants and needs while being empathetic to their respective situations,” said Oliwia Berdak, VP and research director at Forrester. “During these turbulent economic times, building trust with customers is imperative to banks being able to not just survive but accelerate growth, as well. Forrester’s Financial Services Customer Trust Index is designed to help brands understand the key drivers of customer trust and the specific actions they can take to build and strengthen that trust.” 


  • Download Forrester’s Financial Services Customer Trust Index for banks in the UK, France, and Italy (client access required). 
  • Uncover the drivers and impacts of low trust levels in the financial services industry. 
  • Learn more about the European Financial Services Customer Trust Index and how banks can measure trust. 

About Forrester 

Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We help leaders across technology, customer experience, digital, marketing, sales, and product functions use customer obsession to accelerate growth. Through Forrester’s proprietary research, consulting, and events, leaders from around the globe are empowered to be bold at work — to navigate change and put their customers at the centre of their leadership, strategy, and operations. Our unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 700,000 consumers, business leaders, and technology leaders worldwide; rigorous and objective research methodologies, including Forrester Wave™ evaluations; 100 million real-time feedback votes; and the shared wisdom of our clients. To learn more, visit Forrester.com.