Thursday, 28 July 2011

Banker bashing

One would think that Swiss fondness for banks and banking was one of those eternal verities, but a survey suggests otherwise:

The plain people of Switzerland, or at least 500 of them, were asked by Ifop 'whether, in general terms, the image they have of banks is very good, good, bad or very bad'.  And lo and indeed behold, some 35% think badly of banks and their bankers.  Whereas, by point of comparison, 21% of Americans and 51% of French thought likewise.  I've been irked by banks in the past, but would probably answer 'very good', in that I am rather pleased that we have banking as such, the detail of the incompetence, laziness etc of some practitioners nothwithstanding.

Anyway, onwards to seek out Satan in the smallprint:

50-64 year olds are the most likely to have a very bad image of banks, compared to a Swiss norm of 3%.  That's a lot of bounced cheques, incomprehensible call centre staff and grim hold music, no?  Odder still, the equivalent of ABC1s (CSP+) are more hostile - 5% - than C2DEs - 3% - or the retired etc - 3%.

And at the other end of the scale, where is the love? Some 23% of 18-24 year olds have a 'very good' image of banks, nigh on triple the 8% national norm.  Might this be because they still remember the free biro from Appenzeller Kantolbank when daddy took him or her along to open a new account?  Mysterious...  German speakers are more inclined to very/good than Francophones at 9% to 6%.

Asked how they felt about their own bank, Swiss, French and American interviewees all quite liked their own financial stronghold with 87%, 77% and 89% respectively regarding them as very/good.

Subsequently, our fortunate Swiss chums were asked to yay say or nay say to sundry bank-related statements:

Does the banking sector contribute strongly to the Swiss economy?  86% said yes, while a moronic 14% 'thought' otherwise.  And now for something really scary:  'The banks should be placed under state control' (presumably meaning that they should be stolen from the shareholders) - 51% were anti and 49% pro.  And in France 56% wanted the same as did 57% of Americans.  Saints preserve us.


  1. 50-64 year olds are the most likely to have a very bad image of banks; 23% of 18-24 year olds have a 'very good' image of banks

    Experience v naivety?

  2. James - possibly, but in the 65+ cohort no-one answered 'very bad'.