Current trends in financial services are characterised by two intertwined developments. First, increasing digitalisation provides opportunities to invest or raise money through channels that have not been available with more traditional financial services. Crowd-investing and social-trading platforms act as new intermediaries. Similarly, automated advice (robo-advice) is attracting increased attention. Second, the financial crisis of 2007–2010 is associated with a considerable decline in trust in financial institutions, even more so in Iceland, which had experienced a complete collapse of its banking system. Despite the evaporation of trust in their banking system, Icelandic consumers were largely bound to use Icelandic financial institutions because capital controls were in place since the financial crisis until 2017, which limited investors’ opportunities to, for example, diversify their portfolios internationally. As financial decisions are inherently risky and since financial services have the characteristics of credence goods, those who wish to use financial services need to trust financial intermediaries or the immediate contractual partner. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the role of trust in the context of increased digitalisation, and to discuss steps to establish trust in digitalised financial services. Among other items, we discuss the information requirements accompanying financial products and financial institutions, data protection and liability in the context of emerging digitalisation. Our work holds implications for individuals, financial service providers, policy makers and supervisory authorities.
Oehler, A. and Wendt, S. (2018), "Trust and Financial Services: The Impact of Increasing Digitalisation and the Financial Crisis", Sigurjonsson, T.O., Schwarzkopf, D.L. and Bryant, M. (Ed.) The Return of Trust? Institutions and the Public after the Icelandic Financial Crisis, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 195-211. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78743-347-220181014
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