Author: Christine Birkner
Christine Birkner is a staff writer for Marketing News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SummaryIf any industry needs an image makeover, it’s financial services. In the years since the global economic collapse of 2008, a flurry of damaging headlines has hammered U.S. banks and investment firms: the billion-dollar fraud of infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff; rogue traders at investment banks; criticism over supersized bonuses for big-bank CEOs; the collapse of brokerage firm MF Global in 2011, in which $1.6 billion went missing from customer accounts as the firm fell into bankruptcy; and the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 and 2012, in which protesters took to the street in cities across the country—and the world—rallying against a financial sector that they labeled greedy and corrupt.
It’s not surprising that consumer confidence in the financial services industry is at a historic low point. Despite gains in the stock market since March 2009, many investors are fleeing from the market, with the portion of 401(k) accounts allocated to stocks falling from 70% in early 2007 to 61% in July 2012, according to a study by Aon Hewitt, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Less than 50% of investors have contributed to their portfolios since January 2009 and fewer investors in 2012 than in 2010 believe “now is a good time to invest,” down from 69% in 2010 to 54% in 2012, according to research by St. Louis-based Maritz Inc.
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