February 12, 2013

Financial Services companies ranked near the bottom of the Harris Interactive 2013 Reputation Quotient study, but fared slightly better than they did in 2012.

The poll surveyed more than 14,000 members of the general public to measure the reputations of the sixty most visible companies in the country. Amazon earned the highest overall reputation in this year's study, edging out last year's most reputable company, Apple, which is ranked second. According to Harris, this is Amazon's first time earning the top ranking, but the fifth consecutive year with a positive reputation score. The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Johnson & Johnson completed the top five.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, joined AIG, American Airlines and Haliburton in the bottom five. However, it isn't all bad news for financial services, as Bank of America enjoyed a six-point increase in this year's study from last, which Harris said is the highest year-over-year increase for any company in the 2013 study.

While still in negative territory, the banking industry showed some encouraging signs in this year's study, according to Harris, including positive ratings for the industry at 25 percent, a more than 50 percent increase from 2012. Wells Fargo also became the first of the four big banking companies in the past four years to move from negative to positive equity in the Emotional Appeal category.

"Wells Fargo also received significantly higher marks on attributes related to its people and work environment, and it is possible that these may be the first signs of a bank once again being seen as trusted," the report noted.

Overall, the public's take on corporate America improved, with 16 percent saying that the reputation of corporate America showed some improvement, which 7 percent more than in 2012.

[Related: Key to Building Bank Customer Loyalty Is Disruptive Innovation]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...