Rebecca Fender, Head of Strategy and Governance for Research, Advocacy, and Standards at CFA Institute

Trust in financial services reaches new heights

Study finds that young investment professionals have highest levels of trust

According to the CFA Institute’s 2022 Enhancing Investors’ Trust Study, levels of trust in the financial services industry have reached an all-time high in 2022. The study measures trust levels in financial services among retail and institutional investors in 15 markets, as well as the factors that drive trust.

Some of the findings included:

  • Levels of trust increased from 65% to 86% across all generations of institutional investors in 2022.
  • Millennials, especially 25-34-year-olds, have the highest trust (72%) in financial services.
  • Technology plays an important role in enhancing trust by allowing advisers and managers to offer transparency, simplify access to markets and products, and align product offerings with clients’ needs.
  • Over 70% of millennials prefer technology platforms and tools over human help with their investments strategy.
  • Only 30% of respondents over the age of 65 prefer technology platforms.
  • 58% of retail investors with advisers are keen to try new investment products compared to 37% of investors without an adviser.
  • 56% of retail investors believe that access to technology platforms and tools to execute their investment strategies will be more important than access to human assistance in the next three years.
  • 92% of retail investors aged 25-34 trust digital nudges or push notifications from providers about new investment opportunities.
  • 80% of respondents trust the completeness and accuracy of information from retail apps.
  • 75% stated that retail tools and apps increased the frequency of trading.

Rebecca Fender, CFA, Head of Strategy & Governance for Research, Advocacy and Standards at CFA Institute, and lead author of the Trust Study, commented: “The highs we’re now seeing in investor trust are certainly cause for optimism, but the challenge is sustaining trust even during periods of volatility. Our ongoing examination of the dynamics required to build and maintain investor trust reveals what investors need from their advisors and managers through the highs and lows of market cycles. Technology, the alignment of values, and personal connections are all coming through as key determinants in a resilient trust dynamic.”

“The under-44s, and particularly millennials, are leading the way in their use of technology and in their desire for personalized products. This investor cohort has relatively high trust in robo-advice, digital apps, and digital nudges such as alerts about new investment opportunities, and they are using online platforms to execute their investment strategies. They are also eager to use investment products that allow them to invest in line with their personal values, including sustainability and ESG preferences. Climate change and clean energy are the top ESG priorities for retail investors, while institutions are focusing on data protection and privacy, and sustainable supply chain management.”

With the first generation of digital natives now a part of the financial services market, it seems that technology is fast becoming the default way to execute investment strategies.

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