The Banker’s Conundrum: Reputational Re-Set Required?

While recently thumbing through one of my favorite magazines, The Week, my eye was drawn to an advertisement for Ally Bank that read “Remember When the Word “Bank” Didn’t Make You Angry.” I was struck that this bank was highlighting the industry’s woes. It got me thinking.

More than three years after the financial crisis that spawned the Great Recession, financial firms are still struggling to restore their reputations and regain their footing — among consumers, regulators, policymakers and the global investment community. Despite Congressional actions to pass massive legislation aimed at regulating the financial services industry and decisions to increase bank capital requirements, the public is still less than sanguine about the industry.

The financial crisis was one huge debacle, but it seems that the industry keeps knocking its head against a wall to get rid of a headache. From Greg Smith’s very public resignation and maligning of Goldman Sachs in a New York Times Op Ed and Bank of America’s misstep in their announcement to begin charging fees for debit card usage to this week’s Wall Street Journal opinion piece, ”How Big Banks Threaten Our Economy,” by Warren A. Stephens, head of the boutique investment bank Stephens Inc., it is clear the industry needs a reputational reset.

So what exactly do financial firms need to do to rebuild trust? Is better risk management the next critical step? What can and should the government do? Is increased regulation designed, in part, to improve public trust in the financial industry?

Never ones to sit idly by to let others answers these questions for us, BlissPR decided to seek out our own understanding of the problem—and solution. By convening a panel and conducting an interactive roundtable of financial services leaders, we want to answer the question of what this industry must do to repair the damage and rebuild trust among consumers, stakeholders and investors.

So on May 21st, BlissPR will host a Financial Symposium at the Princeton Club to explore what financial executives are doing to rebuild trust. Our panelists include Teresa Ressel, former Assistant Secretary for Management & CFO of the U.S. Treasury, David Reavis, SVP, External Communications Director for KeyCorp, Michael Campbell, president and CEO of boutique brokerage house Dominick and Dominick, Mary Jane Hoene, Counsel to Ledyard & Millburn LLP, and former SEC regulator and Stormy Byorum, EVP and co-head International Group at Stephens Inc. I am sure it will be a provocative discussion among these industry peers and thought leaders. While we expect panelists to be up-front about challenges, the focus will be on successes, best practices and opportunities-to-watch.

BlissPR is excited to be creating our own thought leadership and will share with you what we learn at our Financial Services Symposium.


Connect with Toddi:

Phone: 212.840.1661
Twitter: @toddigutner
: Toddi Gutner