BELGA/JOURET

Half of Belgians have little faith in the banks

A decade since the onset of the banking crisis Belgians still lack faith in the banks. That’s according to a survey carried out by the financial dailies ‘De Tijd’ and ‘L’Echo’. More than half of those questioned said that they believe that their bank will run into difficulties again at some point in the future.  

52% of those surveyed said that they now have less faith in the banks than was the case before the start of the banking crisis in 2008. Of the 1,000 people questioned just 4% said that they now trust the banks more than was the case prior to the crisis.

40% of those surveyed say they believe that bankers weren’t held accountable enough for what happened. Meanwhile, 54% believe that their bank will run into financial difficulties at some point in the future. This is despite measures, such as greater capital buffers and more stringent checks having been brought in to prevent this.  

Belgian banks that have branches and don’t only opperate online and state-owned banks score better than foreign banks and bank that only operate on the internet.  

Bank charges to make up for banking crisis losses

Two thirds of those question believe that the banks have tried to compensate for some of their losses by increasing bank charges and keeping the amount they pay out in interest on saving very low.  

57% say that bank charges are too high, while 62% of those questioned believe that the bank’s put the interests of their shareholders above those of their customers. 75% of respondents said that they felt that high ranking bankers earn too much.

"Need to make more effort"

In a reaction to the survey, the financial services industry federation Febelfin said "We are failing to show sufficiently how we offer an added value to society. We will have to make more of an effort”, a Febelfin spokesperson said.