The role of transparency in rebuilding trust

by MPA01 Dec 2014
By David Lykken
Special to MPA

Our industry has suffered a great deal in recent years in regards to the level of trust the general public has in us. The housing crisis made many skeptical of lenders as well as of financial service providers in general. Going into the future, one of the greatest challenges for our industry will be rebuilding that trust and restoring that confidence. So, how do we go about doing that?

 One of the best ways to get people to trust us is to become more transparent with what we're doing. There is a subset of the population that thinks the financial sector is inherently evil, but I think most people understand that everyone engaged in business is expecting to make a profit and there's nothing wrong with that. Most people just don't want to be lied to or have secrets kept from them. In other words, people are fine with us making money; they just want to know how we're doing it and why.

 Like many industries, ours fears transparency. We're afraid of giving too much away. But being more open about how we do business can have positive results. People will trust us when we start to show our cards and reveal that we have nothing up our sleeves. All we have to do is come out and say, "This is what we're doing, and this is why we're doing it." That's how we will rebuild trust going into the future.



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