Monday, September 21, 2009

Lessons from the Recession

Our firm recently surveyed a number of leading financial services companies to see how they’ve handled this year’s market turmoil and what they’ve done to protect their reputations. What we found was a broad spectrum of responses. Some financial services firms have tried to close down communications, while others have created new opportunities to promote candor and transparency. What’s more, the leading firms are going beyond transparency to offer opinions and insights on the larger impact of the recession.

Among the companies that are “doing it right”: Citigroup and Wells Fargo.
  • In answer to a barrage of questions about its lending practices, Citigroup has begun issuing a clear and persuasive quarterly TARP Progress Report that details how the bank is employing government bailout funds to expand the flow of credit, support homeowners and help the U.S. economy.

  • For many years, Wells Fargo has been conducting a Small Business Confidence Index. Typically optimistic, the results took a sharp downturn last month and included unfavorable comments from some participants about the scarcity of credit. Yet the bank published the results — warts and all.

As a top executive at Bank of America (another financial services firm with a preemptive approach to transparency) said recently, “When times are tough we have the greatest chance to make an impact.”

Organizations can not only survive the economic downturn but even use it to create opportunity if they are committed to: transparency, finding creative ways to reach out to stakeholders, expressing their opinions on vital issues of the day and avoiding anything that might leave them vulnerable to accusations of “spin.”

A new white paper — “Lessons from the Recession’s Front Lines: How America’s Leading Financial Institutions are Using Communications to Preserve their Reputations,” by Makovsky’s Financial Services practice is now available on our website.

Technorati Tags: financial services company, Citigroup, Small Business Confidence Index, recognition, Bank of America, Lessons from the Recession’s Front Lines

1 Comments:

Anonymous Hannah said...

It's really interesting to think that the way for companies to have success is by being committed to transparency. I think it is a great approach especially since everyone is feeling the effects of the economy and this way the customer is included in the know of what is going on. Also, this idea of transpaency could hopefully be a start to a new trend which I think will have postivie effects for everyone. The reason being the customer having trust again in companies could lead to them being more active in the economy by being willing to give out their business.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 2:50:00 PM  

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