What has happened?

The long awaited Royal Commission into the misconduct of the banking, superannuation and financial services industries was finally released earlier this month. As many expected, Commissioner Hayne’s findings were highly critical of a number of practices across the financial sector and the media did not miss the opportunity to ensure such findings were highly publicised. Companies criticised in the report were quick to get on the front foot with the likes of Commonwealth Bank running a series of print ads focusing on how the bank is committed to supporting local business whilst the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia launched a national campaign aimed at emphasising the importance of mortgage brokers across the home loan industry.

The Media Store Take

The ongoing revelations stemming from the Royal Commission have had a significant impact on consumer confidence in the financial sector, particularly the big-four banks (ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac). The latest Roy Morgan Net Score Trust Survey, conducted shortly after the full details of the Royal Commission were handed down, showed a steady decline in consumer trust across the big-four banks since 2017. With the entire sector facing a significant image problem, organisations will need to work twice as hard to restore confidence in their individual brands. Whilst marketing, media, and advertising will be effective means of communicating positive changes and genuine brand identity, consumers will expect proof that these institutions are indeed “walking the walk” before trust is returned.

Sam Coughlan