Trust is the foundation of society. Is trust vanishing? If so, how will this affect our finances? How will it affect society?
The big five Canadian banks are involved in that conversation.
As I wrote in last week’s column, the CBC broke the news that staff at Canada’s largest banks complained they were allegedly being forced to push financial products on unsuspecting bank customers.
It seems wide spread and appears involves bank branch staff and those employees located in bank call centers.
For decades Canadians have had a love/hate relationship with their banks.
Many complain about the service fees and extra charges. However, there is also a sense of pride.
During the world financial collapse in 2008 and 2009, we were proud of the financial strength of our banks.
Strong, financially sound, very profitable banks are part of the Canadian way of life.
We trusted them to do the right thing.
The disclosure by thousands of current and past bank employees about alleged unethical conduct and allegations of illegal actions has been a blow to that trust.
The financial markets and investments in general are based on trust. If trust evaporates then the consumers of financial services will stop believing, and using, those involved in providing financial services and products.
Trust is also under assault south of the border. It appears President Donald Trump is eroding trust daily.
Trump makes statements that require damage control by others in his administration.
His White House communications team have responded to his statements with explanations you might expect from a poorly-written movie script.
Comments like the President did not mean what he said.
Or you should not interpret some of his messages as facts.
Do you remember the amusing comment about the President using “alternative facts”?
A photo of the crowd at his inauguration showed low attendance. He chose alternative facts saying attendance was extremely high compared to past inaugurations.
When his first major proposed legislation, the American Health Care Act, was pulled before it was ever voted on, he blamed the Democrats.
Republicans control Congress so it was his own Republican Party that caused embarrassment and a failed campaign promise.
Society’s values change as the opinions of individuals change.
Athletes, movie stars, politicians, and corporations, all have an impact on society.
Those in the spotlight have significant influence on how and what people think.
The damage comes when negative values and their associated behaviors are strengthened through continued practice.
Trust is the very fabric of who we are.
Trust should be respected by all, particularly those people and corporations to whom the rest of us look up.