Fresh eyes

RDR and rebuilding trust in financial services

RDR and rebuilding trust in financial services

Written by Mark Brennan,
Head of Digital; Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Freshfield

The financial services industry has work to do in presenting positive messages and restoring public confidence and trust – one of the key motivations behind the forthcoming Retail Development Review (RDR).

RDR has been developed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in order to:

– Raise professional standards and improve transparency

– Put an end to commission as a way of paying for advice

– Increase / enhance qualifications of advisers

– Provide clarity about the independence of firms, the types of services that firms can provide and the cost of those services

So how will RDR impact on communications in the sector?

Ultimately, for any firm operating in a post-RDR world, managing its own reputation is not optional. It’s a must. Therefore positioning and transparent communication is essential to survival.

Firms need to decide ‘what do we want to be famous for’ and develop PR and content marketing programmes that position them as trusted thought leaders in their key areas of expertise. Their activity must span multiple channels – from blogging on their core areas of expertise, to media comment on pertinent issues, to e-mail or hard-copy newsletters and a website that showcases their products and services.

They also need (where possible) to highlight success stories and happy, satisfied clients as a welcome alternative to negative sector-wide reporting.

A final consideration that could be overlooked is marketing themselves as employers of choice – using employee case studies, details of training programmes and significant new recruits. Recent reports of investment banks offering inflation busting salary rises to graduates to counter the ‘social stigma’ of working in the sector presents another reason to manage your reputation.

Freshfield has considerable experience of advising professional and financial services firms. To find out more about our specialism in this sector click here or contact us for more information.

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