Consumers prefer traditional banks to digital ones - study

Consumers prefer traditional banks to digital ones – study

But trust in digital currencies is still higher than that recorded in Spain, Italy, Greece and UK

Portuguese consumers trust traditional banking more than digital banks, with the former scoring 7.2 out of 10, and the latter 6 in a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study released today.

“In Portugal, trust in banks is high, with a score of 7.2 on a scale of one to ten, similar to countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium,” BCG concluded in the report “Global Retail Banking 2022: Sustainability and Good Sense”.

However, this figure is lower for digital banks, dropping to six out of a maximum of 10 points.

Still, Portuguese consumers’ sentiment towards digital banks is above that recorded in Spain and Italy (5.7), Greece (4.9), and the United Kingdom (5.8) but below Latin American countries such as Mexico (7.3), Brazil (7.2) or Colombia (7.0), says Lusa.

“BCG’s retail banking consumer sentiment survey, which covered 25 countries, found that there was a 20% growth in the number of people expressing greater trust in their bank during the covid-19 crisis compared to that seen at the start of the pandemic in 2020.

“Overall, customers want their banks to act as a “good friend” (31%) to whom they can turn for honest advice and as a “school” (11%) where they can get financial guidance.

“In Portugal, only 18% of respondents feel that their bank acts as a “good friend”, a figure above Spain and France (14%) and Greece (8%), while 34% of the Portuguese would like the relationship to be better.

“Pedro Pereira, managing director of BCG, said, “the confidence indicators of the Portuguese in retail banking are positive, although there are many opportunities for improvement, especially regarding the added value of the service offered by banks”.

That this BCG study was required at all is a sign of the times. In UK today, citizens are tipped to be hearing that their new prime minister will be Rishi Sunak – the former chancellor who has made no bones about his enthusiasm over the advent of CBDCs, central bank digital currencies, “a digital version of money… issued directly by a central bank.

 

“Governments and central banks across the world are working together looking into what having a digital currency might mean in practice (…) It’s all part of the wider story of digital innovation”, Sunak has explained. Thus, part of that story will be to bring citizens on board towards accepting digital banks, centrally controlled, which is clearly the sentiment that BCG has sought to gauge.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com