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The role of trust in financial services business relationships

Katherine Tyler (Westminster Service Sector Research Centre, University of Westminster, Harrow, UK)
Edmund Stanley (Westminster Service Sector Research Centre, University of Westminster, Harrow, UK)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 7 August 2007




The purpose of this article is to investigate trust in financial services business markets.


The article provides qualitative research, based on 147 in‐depth interviews with corporate bankers and their clients.


The article finds that perceptions of trust and the operationalisation of trust were asymmetrical across the dyads and segments. Small companies were more trusting than large corporates. Bankers used calculative and operational trust and were cynical about their counterparts' trustworthiness. Bankers were quick to eliminate clients from their portfolio who did not, in their view, provide full disclosure of pertinent facts.

Research limitations/implications

There may be different findings for other cultural contexts and financial service industries. The article encourages research in other contexts and industries and provides a platform to encourage this.

Practical implications

The article provides guidelines for bankers and their clients to understand the importance of trust in their relationships, and to understand how it is operationalised differently by the counterparts.


There are few studies of trust in either services business markets, or financial services business markets. Therefore, this article makes a valuable contribution. It also provides a critical review and integrates the literature on trust as applied to financial services business markets.



Tyler, K. and Stanley, E. (2007), "The role of trust in financial services business relationships", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 334-344.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited