Bankers ahead of asset managers in popularity

BankA decade on since the financial crisis, it is now more reputable to be a banker than an asset manager, research suggests.

Whereas the banking sector has done a reasonable job at restoring its reputation, the public – though it does not loath asset management – still largely does not understand the sector.

Six out of ten people in a survey of over 1,000 said they did not have a view about the reputation of asset management, indicating there is still “a significant job to be done” to educate people about how the sector affects them.

Researchers said there may still be a “widespread lack of understanding” about what asset managers, as well as others in financial services, do.

Mike Robb, head of financial services at MHP Communications, a public relations firm that commissioned the survey of 1,089 UK adults to mark ten years since the start of the crisis, said: “Asset management and private equity in particular show the need to better explain what they do for the real economy and ordinary people…”

Although just 30% of the respondents saw bankers in a favourable light – significantly behind traffic wardens who scored 51% - their reputation was ahead of other jobs, such as estate agents, journalists and politicians.

Fewer than one in five were positive about asset management.

Politicians scored abysmally with 8%. Lawyers came out top with 65%.

More than half (53%) of respondents have a positive view of the financial services industry at large, the research showed. Banking experienced the most positive turnaround, with 55% of people having a positive view of the sector, and overall, only banks and accountants have a majority positive view with the public.

Venture capital scored 14%, fintech 8%, and payday loans 5%.

Robb said there had been positive progress in restoring the reputation of the UK’s financial services industry, even though “much work is still to be done”.

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