Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 1:50 PM

Banks find the link between communication and trust

(Photo credit: Phill Carrick)
Monday's edition of The Wall Street Journal included highlights from the Journal's annual "CEO Council," a high-profile gathering in Washington where corporate and government leaders converge to discuss solutions to the global challenges ahead.

To read the entire section, click here. You'll find plenty of good insights on the economy, education, energy, and the environment. Specific to this blog's interests, the quote below from Gail Kelly (pictured), CEO of Australian financial giant Westpac, caught our attention.

Kelly emphasized that large banks must work hard to regain the public's trust.

Doing so requires, "bankers and financiers, and others no doubt, to be talking a very clear, clear language that people understand. We tend to, as bankers, talk in quite arcane language about being intermediaries and transmission of credit and all these sorts of things that no one actually understands. And I think it's important for us to describe what our role is and how we, in fact, facilitate growth within the economy, and then stand behind our actions and through our conduct, and actually rebuild trust in the communities that we serve."

Amen. Kelly's statement is reminiscent of surveys we've written about previously that show that financial institutions enjoy better reputations when they are perceived to be communicating with clarity and consistency.

Kudos to Ms. Kelly for making a sorely-need point. Let's hope her colleagues were listening.

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