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Analysis Shows Trust is Fundamental to Financial Services Institutions’ Reputation

CLEVELAND – July 17, 2012 – The solid pillars of trust that traditionally symbolized banking relationships are once again emerging as key components of financial services institutions’ reputation, according to a new analysis of compiled published data.

The Dix & Eaton analysis identified nine critical value drivers and ranked the nation’s 10 largest bank holding companies in terms of each.  It indicates that while there is a cluster of institutions that rise to the top, no single institution is “top” for every one of the significant drivers.  The top five drivers in terms of their impact on reputation are return on shareholder investment (ROI), corporate social responsibility, transparency, sustainability and image.

“While it is no surprise that ROI shows up among the top drivers of financial institution reputation, more telling is that corporate social responsibility is the number-two driver, and sustainability number four,” said Pamela Cohen, Ph.D., the D&E behavioral economist who led the analysis.  “This, of course, highlights our culture’s return to grass roots despite – or perhaps because of – the downturn in the economy.  Values are viewed as being critical to organizational success and acceptance.”

Cohen added, “Particularly interesting is that ‘image,’ which contains a strong element of trust – and something that was taken as a given prior to 2008 – has risen to being a top driver of reputation in a way that it has not been since the early 2000s.  Again, this has likely occurred not because it was never considered to be unimportant, but rather because trust and the overall image of the financial institution as a safe haven has been lost in recent years.

“Gaining back the trust and admiration of stakeholders will be a long process given the extreme fall in reputation of financial institutions over the past several years.  Transparency, the number-three driver in the most recent list, is going to be the key to regaining trust as financial services institutions strive to make reparations that will allow them to grow in our recovering economy.”

The latest analysis drew upon 30 data sources, including industry rankings, surveys and government statistical information.  It then utilized the proprietary D&E Impact Index™, a proven methodology that combines behavioral economics and statistical modeling to provide a comprehensive, quantified analysis of intangible assets and then links those assets to desired outcomes for an organization or industry.

The institutions in the analysis – the largest bank holding companies based on assets, as of March 31, 2012 – and their rankings in selected categories are as follows:

Overall Ranking

  1. Bank of America Corporation
  2. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  3. Citigroup Inc.
  4. Wells Fargo & Company
  5. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. 
  6. Metlife, Inc.
  7. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
  8. Morgan Stanley
  9. U.S. Bancorp
  10. HSBC North America Holdings Inc.
     

Return on Investment

  1. Citigroup Inc.
  2. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  3. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  4. Bank of America Corporation
  5. Wells Fargo & Company
  6. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
  7. Morgan Stanley
  8. HSBC North America Holdings Inc.
  9. U.S. Bancorp
  10. Metlife, Inc.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

  1. Bank of America Corporation
  2. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  3. Wells Fargo & Company
  4. Citigroup Inc.
  5. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  6. Morgan Stanley
  7. HSBC North America Holdings Inc.
  8. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
  9. Metlife, Inc.
  10. U.S. Bancorp
     

Transparency

  1.  Citigroup Inc..
  2. Bank of America Corporation
  3. Wells Fargo & Company
  4. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  5. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  6. Metlife, Inc.
  7. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
  8. U.S. Bancorp
  9. Morgan Stanley
  10. HSBC North America Holdings Inc.

 

Sustainability

  1. Bank of America Corporation
  2. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  3. Wells Fargo & Company
  4. Citigroup Inc.
  5. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  6. HSBC North America Holdings Inc.
  7. Metlife, Inc.
  8. U.S. Bancorp
  9. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
  10. Morgan Stanley

 

Image

  1. Citigroup Inc.
  2. Bank of America Corporation
  3. Wells Fargo & Company
  4. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  5. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  6. HSBC North America Holdings Inc.
  7. U.S. Bancor
  8. Morgan Stanley
  9. Metlife, Inc.
  10. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

 

“While it is interesting to look at an overall ranking,” said Cohen, “most important to view is where they ranked among the top-ranked drivers, for a focus on these areas will yield them the largest return on their investments given proper focus and direction within their competitive industry.”

The D&E Impact Index is customized for every organization, using readily available data from multiple sources, including social media.  Cohen has fine-tuned the methodology over the past 15 years, having first created it when she led the Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation’s intangible valuation group.  Her analysis has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, CIO and CFO magazines, among others, and she has applied it on behalf of major companies in more than a dozen industries, helping them increase their value by optimizing the performance of their intangible assets. These important drivers include brand, leadership, sustainability, strategy execution, communications, alliances, human capital, innovation and technology adaptation, as well as other nonfinancial components that bring value to a company.

In addition to her role at Dix & Eaton, Cohen is on the Sustainability Certificate Program Board of the University of Chicago’s Graham School, working on the development of a certificate program in Leadership in Sustainability Management.  As part of that program she designed and teaches a course on environmental economics and behavioral finance, and works with the University’s Sustainability Office in developing a university-wide integrated sustainability system.  She is also a researcher for the Erikson Institute’s Graduate School of Education, applying her expertise to the arena of childhood development and optimal well-being outcomes.

Dix & Eaton is an integrated communications consultancy specializing in public relations, investor relations, crisis communications, customer communications and reputation valuation.  Working as partners, we bring deep experience, foresight and creativity to every relationship and help clients realize the full power of communication to drive results.  Founded in 1952, Dix & Eaton has twice been named the nation’s best midsized firm.  For more information, visit www.dix-eaton.com of contact Pam Cohen at pcohen@dix-eaton.com.