Seniors place ethics above expertise among trust factors for professionalsMortgagePress.comfinancial professionals, commissions, local bank representative, healthcare representative
Whom do seniors trust and why? According to the 2007 Financial
Freedom Senior Sentiment Survey, the fourth annual survey from Financial Freedom (a
subsidiary of IndyMac Bank
FSB), being an expert in a field just isn't enough.
Professionals can't rely on their company's brand name or a
personal referral if they hope to establish trust with a senior.
While important, these factors ranked less important than seniors'
perception of professionals' good character or ethics.
"These findings underscore what we have been preaching to
reverse mortgage originators and other financial professionals for
over a decade--to gain acceptance among seniors, it's crucial to
demonstrate integrity across the entire enterprise from point of
contact to products to servicing," said Michelle Minier, CEO of
Financial Freedom. "It's why Financial Freedom and the industry
have built important senior safeguards into products, like required
counseling, enhanced disclosures and ensuring that seniors retain
title to their homes."
The survey found that seniors seem to be less trusting of
financial professionals in general, especially those whose
compensation is tied to commissions. When asked how much they trust
the financial professionals with whom they work, only 23 percent
indicated that they strongly trusted their professionals and that
was because of long experience with them. The majority (63 percent)
of seniors indicated a lack of trust in financial professionals
with 33 percent responding that they neither trust nor distrust and
30 percent responding they only somewhat trust financial
professionals. Although the amount of trust varies by profession,
this is illustrated by seniors' ranking of financial and other
professionals on a provided list.
Looking at just financial professionals, 53 percent of seniors
indicated they trust, somewhat trust or very strongly trust their
local bank representative, followed by their accountant (44
percent) and healthcare representative (38 percent). Realtors,
stock brokers and Mortgage Brokers, all of whom work off
commissions, finished last. The breakdown of financial
professionals is below:
-Local bank representative: 53 percent
-Accountant: 44 percent
-Insurance representative: 35 percent
-Lawyer: 33 percent
-Fee based financial advisor/planner: 30 percent
-Realtor: 25 percent
-Commission based stock broker/financial consultant: 21
-Mortgage Broker: 18 percent
When asked about other professions with whom they interact,
seniors indicated that they trust doctors, nurses and veterinarians
the most. Politicians finished last, garnering just five percent of
seniors' trust. The breakdown of non-financial professionals is
-Doctor: 89 percent
-Nurse: 86 percent
-Veterinarian: 81 percent
-Priest, minister, rabbi or other religious guide: 73 percent
-Policeman: 70 percent
-Plumber or carpenter or other similar tradesman: 51 percent
-Auto mechanic: 49 percent
-Politician: five percent
For more information, visit www.financialfreedom.com.