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Finance Sector puts Reputation First

A Recent Survey Finds The Finance Sector Value Reputation Over Profits

Any business owner in the finance sector or otherwise, who has suffered from a loss of faith in their company will tell you that maintaining a good reputation is absolutely crucial. The staff you employ, the investments you make and the marketing you carry out can all be more critical than you realise. Unfortunately, this often doesn't become apparent until you get it wrong.

Finance Sector Survey Findings

A global CGMA survey conducted by the AICPA and CIMA has recently found that 76 per cent of all senior finance sector professionals would be willing to sacrifice short-term profits to maintain their reputation in the long term. They said that this was because of the increasing demand for transparency, the greater use of social media and seeing what had happened in other firms that had lost their reputation.

Businesses Turn Down Projects to Protect Their Reputations

44 per cent of all businesses surveyed had decided not to participate in a particular project that would have brought them a profit because of the damage it could have done to their reputation. Surprisingly, despite the 76 per cent of finance sector professionals that understood the risks, only 65 per cent of their companies often or always considered the reputational risk and associated financial damage when making investments.

The Finance Sector Need to be Cautious with Social Media's Ability of Viral Reputation Damage

Almost a quarter of all the finance sector businesses surveyed had already suffered a reputational failure. The damage that can be done to a company's reputation is amplified in this age of social media. Whilst a word-of-mouth or standard media boycott campaign can be damaging, it is nothing compared to a viral campaign on social networking platforms.

Companies Need to Manage Risk by Monitoring Social Media

It is worrying that despite recognising this risk, many companies still don't monitor social media in any detail and they lack procedures for calculating the financial impact of a failure to manage reputational risk. Only 20 per cent use social-media feedback heavily, although a higher percentage used it to some degree.

The CGMA Rank Customer Relations #1

Companies that have strong branding, good customer relationships and are defensive of their brand image are more likely to put their reputation first. Every contact that a member of your staff has with a customer or potential customer can change your reputation. Respondents to the CGMA survey ranked customer relations as the most important, followed by employee relations and relationships with regulators and investors.

All businesses should monitor what is being said about both them and their competitors on social media. It is just as important to make sure that you know what your staff say about you because they can be your biggest advocates or your biggest enemies.

Written by Niraj Joshi of Circle Square 

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