There is a “lack of trust” among farmers in banks, according to the latest report from the Irish Banking Culture Board.
The peasant society was surveyed as a specific cohort for the first time and registered a confidence score of -77, which was ranked significantly lower than both the general population and small and medium-sized enterprises.
The report reveals that the agricultural sector requires an urgent focus from the banks to deal with very low levels of confidence. It says that knowing the scope of the challenge you are facing is the first step to tackling it.
“There is a feeling that customers’ needs are not sufficiently understood,” said Marion Kelly, CEO of the Irish Banking Culture Board. “There are concerns about accessibility that I think are understandable given the changes in banking models and the reduction in offices.
“And what we need to see is how these common problems can be solved because, interestingly enough, what we found in the SME sector’s confidence levels increased, and we think it’s partly due to the support that SMEs received under Covid with payment delays and so on. “, she said.
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The IBCB plans to hold information sessions at the plowing championship with the member banks to see what measures need to be taken to solve these problems.
The IBCB’s board member and treasurer of the Irish Farmers Association, Martin Stapleton, said: “The lack of trust among farmers is an issue that needs to be addressed without delay. Farmers are an integral part of Ireland’s heritage and economy and their perspectives need to be addressed. and supported and their needs met by banks. “
The Irish Banking Culture Board was set up to facilitate cultural change in the Irish banking system. Its Eastern Report for 2022 is based on the second survey of public confidence in banking after the publication of the first report in 2021. The first survey, based on the research model Edelman Trust, shows that confidence among the Irish public in banks is still low but steadily improving slightly compared to last year, which is significant given the societal volatility against which the survey’s fieldwork was conducted.
While the overall confidence score for the general population has increased by three points, compared to last year, it is still low at -25.
Encouragingly, the confidence score for small and medium-sized enterprises continues to trend in a positive direction and is at -7, an improvement of six points compared with last year.
Kelly said the first result of the year “is a clear illustration of the scale of the challenge of changing the banking culture in Ireland.
“Progress is being made but the process of cultural improvement will take time,” she said. “The results of the survey indicate concerns about the wider economy, the pressure on living costs and problems with account swaps due to the imminent exit of Ulster Banks and KBC Bank Ireland from the Irish market.
“Increased concern about the risk of fraud is also evident. It is important that banks support their customers in the difficulties that lie ahead, especially in relation to those affected by the need to change their banking relationships.”
Speaking on the publication of EIST 2022, the President, Justice John Hedigan, said: “It is clear from this year’s results that, although there is some evidence of improvement, more work remains to be done to address deep-rooted feelings of mistrust in the banking sector. among the Irish public.
“It is also clear that continued positive behavior on behalf of retail banks, whose evidence must be both visible to and felt by bank customers, is necessary to further restore public confidence in the sector.
Justice Hedigan said that the IBCB knows that its member banks are working hard to address the confidence deficit and has taken several positive initiatives that show a commitment to improving the culture of the sector.
“A focus on customer performance will need to be maintained for an extended period before there is significant tangible evidence of improving public confidence in banking.”
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