Thursday, 28 March 2013

Losing trust... or... would you frisk your friends?

Looking back over the past year of economic doldrums, how has it most affected you?

Are you saving more for a rainy day?
We all should be. But we’re also a bit more worried about who to trust with our savings (more so if we live in Cyprus).

Are you cutting back on spending?
Again, a sheconomical strategy. But there comes a point where you can’t cut back any more. The point where you feel so miserable you have to buy something to cheer yourself up.

Are you less trusting?
Let’s do a quick trust check. Who do you think is most trustworthy?
a) a banker enjoying a massive bonus while taxpayers bail out the bank
b) a journalist with an unhealthy interest in others’ mobile phone activity
c) a politician with a bad memory for policy pledges
d) a sleazy disc jockey
e) none of the above

It’s no wonder, given recent events, that we are all eyeing high profile figures with more suspicion. In fact a third of us say we are less trusting than we were a year ago, according to a Trust Study published by the Yorkshire Building Society* today.
You do trust me don't you Vera ... I mean Joan..?
Trust matters. Why? Because we need to know those around us have our interests at heart. That they won’t harm us, lie to us or let us down. To believe that those in positions of power won’t abuse that power. When trust is broken we feel shaken, vulnerable and panicked into looking after Number One. In fact, trust is so important that humans are hard-wired to decide in a micro-second whether or not someone is trustworthy.

Imagine living in a world where nobody trusted anyone.
Just buying a coffee would be a nightmare. The barrista offers the cup but won’t let go until he’s got your money in his hand. You won't part with the cash until you’ve got your coffee in case he whips it away. It'd be like being caught up in one of those perpetual childhood games where neither side will give in.

Imagine not trusting friends who visit your house and frisking them as they leave.
Or having to pay for everything you order from the restaurant menu before you get it.
Or finding out the bracelet your husband gave you on your anniversary is actually an electronic tagging device.

It’s good to trust others. It's nice to assume positive intent in everyone we meet. Because I truly believe that most people are kind and caring and trustworthy. 

Unfortunately though, we tend to hear a lot more about the minority who aren’t.

More on the Yorkshire Building Society Trust report here

Banks or building societies?
It’s worth noting that Yorkshire Building Society is a mutual, which means they’re owned by and run for their members. Because they have no shareholders to answer to, any profits they make are used to maintain the financial security of the business and then returned to members in the form of better rates and service. That's nice to know.