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Banking system trust, bank trust, and bank loyalty

Pauline W.J. van Esterik-Plasmeijer (Independent Researcher, Arnhem, The Netherlands)
W. Fred van Raaij (Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 6 February 2017




The purpose of this paper is to test a model of banking system trust as an antecedent of bank trust and bank loyalty. Six determinants of trust and loyalty are included: competence, stability, integrity, customer orientation, transparency, and value congruence. The study provides insights which determinants are crucial for explaining bank trust and bank loyalty, and thus for rebuilding trust and loyalty.


Survey among 1,079 respondents of 18 years and older in The Netherlands on person trust, system trust, bank trust, and their scores on determinants of trust and loyalty. Structural equations modeling (AMOS) has been performed to provide insights into the relationships between concepts such as person trust, system trust, bank trust, and bank loyalty. The importance of determinants to explain bank trust and bank loyalty has been assessed as well.


Integrity is the most important determinant of bank trust. Transparency, customer orientation, and competence are also significant. Trust is a strong predictor of loyalty. Determinants explaining bank loyalty are: competence, stability, transparency, and value congruence. System trust is also a determinant of bank trust. The meaning of these results is discussed in the paper, as well as the managerial implications of these findings.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected in May 2014 with a large sample, when the financial crisis came to an end. Distrust still remained as a consequence of the crisis. Banks are now rebuilding trust and loyalty. This research provides indications which determinants of trust and loyalty are important in this process and should be focused upon. A longitudinal study how trust and loyalty are developing would give insights and feedback on managerial actions.

Practical implications

Results provide insights into the causes and reasons of (dis)trust. From this study, banks get insights with a priority matrix which determinants are below par but important for specific banks and should be focused on and improved at the short term.

Social implications

Trust in banks and other financial institutions is crucial for the functioning of the banking system and for society at large. Restoring trust is a matter of fundamental changes of the bank-customer relationships, not only by communication but by sincere behavior (integrity) and benevolence in the customer interest.


The authors are not aware of research using all six determinants (competence, stability, integrity, customer orientation, transparency, and value congruence) to explain and predict bank trust and bank loyalty, and their implications for trust and loyalty in banks.



The authors thank Peter Mulder of marketing research agency GfK, Hilversum, The Netherlands, for his contribution to data collection and data analysis. They also thank the editor and reviewers of IJBM for their insightful and constructive comments.


van Esterik-Plasmeijer, P.W.J. and van Raaij, W.F. (2017), "Banking system trust, bank trust, and bank loyalty", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 97-111.



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