Reputation and the Financial Sector

Identifying the biggest threat to financial firms’ reputations

Reputation is your most valuable asset, and today there are more threats to reputation than ever before. One of the fastest-growing and most impactful issues is information security, and the results of the 2015 Makovsky Wall Street Reputation Study show why. According to the study, 42% of U.S. consumers believe that failure to protect personal and financial information is the biggest Information security iconthreat to the reputation of the financial firms they use, and some three-quarters of respondents said unauthorized access of their personal and financial information would be likely to have them taking their business elsewhere.

Perhaps more interesting is the finding that security of personal and financial information is much more important to customers compared to a financial services firm’s ethical responsibility to customers and the community. While this won’t be the case for all organizations, the sensitive nature and direct worth attached to financial information has a clear impact on stakeholder expectations and behavior.

The crisis management lesson here is that information security is a major component of reputation today, and failing to plan for both protecting customer info and coping if it is compromised can mean the difference between losing customers and a thriving operation.

Erik & Jonathan Bernstein
www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com

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