Fund managers were the least trusted of all financial services firms in a survey by consultancy PwC, which says only 12% of respondents trust them.
The lack of trust seems to affect all financial services sectors, not just banking, which PwC says reflects a generalised malaise across the industry.
"The fact that certain types of institution have been at the forefront of industry issues in recent years has not prevented other organisations, such as fund managers, from suffering reputational damage," PwC says.
Traditionally, the asset management industry's response to concern about mistrust has been to stress goals such as greater transparency. However, PwC suggests the future impact of these campaigns might be "relatively limited", at least in isolation. In the survey, only 5% of respondents said they trusted fund managers more now than they did a year ago.
Regulation has only partly succeeded in rebuilding trust in the financial services industry. PwC's survey of 2,000 people suggests that almost one in two people (49%) believe regulation of the financial services sector has been strengthened in the wake of the financial crisis. A greater proportion (57%) does not believe that the reforms are sufficient to ensure that history will not repeat itself.
Mark Pugh, UK asset management leader at the firm, adds: "The lack of trust in fund managers and financial advisers partly reflects a failure of providers to articulate the value they are offering. Providers must find new ways to explain the services they are providing, encourage consumers to voice their goals, priorities and expectations, and to respond to these."
©2014 funds europe