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Banks True Currency: TRUST

Banks True Currency
Charlie Chaplin is lifted up by Douglas Fairbanks during a rally at Wall Street in 1918.

Banks True Currency

According to U.S. Bankcorp, CEO, and Wall Street Journalist Richard K. Davis, the foundation of banks stems primarily from the value in trust rather than money.

Comprehensive Summary

The article asserts a “symbiotic relationship built on trust” between banks and communities.[i] This assertion presumably recognizes the implied fiduciary relationship—one of trust in confidence—to which banks and communities—its customers—mutually depend for strength.

Richard Davis references “the financial crisis” to instantiate trust as a core value inherently assumed in public perception, and evidently challenged by economic decline. [ii]

From these assumptions, Davis characterizes the intangible value of trust as “banks’ true currency,” because communities ostensibly rely on banks for sustained growth. [iii]

Main Conclusion

Davis further concludes the following:

Impact on Quality

This article suggests a significant impact on quality among the following disciplines:

Finance—If banks indeed constitute the “financial bedrock for vibrancy,” then a system predicated on “restoring trust,” may inspire greater public confidence in investment, specifically, facilitating:

  1. Tolerance for Risks;
  2. Technological Competence;
  3. Financial Freedom. [vi]

If achieved, such renewed public confidence in banks may fulfill its purported purpose by incentivizing the financial growth suggested. Therefore, the potential value-added—inspiring balanced trust in banks—delivers quality by instilling tolerance for risks to assure “financial freedom. The assurance of financial freedom delivers quality because perceived financial freedom plausibly encourages greater investment, and if so, sustained financial growth among “entire communities.”

If anything, re-inspiring such trust may jeopardize quality delivery because it risks inculcating overconfident attitudes which perhaps helped precipitate a recession in the first place. Thus, balanced trust remains key.

MarketingThe article also reveals how trust impacts marketing quality by developing customer value as a primary priority. [xi] Consider the following:

Voice of the Customer—Davis suggests that heightened trust facilitates “voice of the customer” because customers today evidently dictate “what they need” from banks. [xii] They may efficaciously tailor technology to accommodate “evolving definitions” of customer quality, with “transparency and trust.” [xiii]


The main theme of trust introduced in this article further assumes a legal and/or regulatory quality impact. Trust represents an element inextricably intertwined in fiduciary relationships to ensure ethical financial management between banks and various consumers. Customers entrust banks with a fiduciary responsibility—based on trust in confidence—to safeguard against criminal and tortious violations, e.g., fraud (embezzlement, earnings management, Ponzi schemes), misrepresentation, negligence, strict liability, contract liability, etc. Among their duties include, inter alia, exercising reasonable care in all consumer transactions. If banks maintain the requisite “trust and transparency” consistent with professional ethics, they also inexorably reinforce all other quality standards by mitigating potential liability issues.  Due diligence in confidentiality, information disclosure, and preserving the highest professional standards where possible (circumventing needless company waste) help form a trustworthy financial reputation.

Therefore, the value of credibility—a trustworthy financial reputation that mitigates liability risks—optimizes legal/regulatory quality by reinforcing banks’ promise to provide “entire communities”:

Conclusion—Why This Article?

This article particularly piqued my interest for the following reasons:

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[i] Richard K. Davis, “Banks’ True Currency: Trust,” June 2, 2016 12:27 P.M. ET, Wall Street Journal, p. 1.

[ii] Davis at 1,

[iii] Davis at 2.

[iv] Id. at 2.

[v] Id. at 3.

[vi] Id. at 2-3.

[vii] Gettinger, Marilyn, “Iona College—TQM, Foster Part I, Understanding Concepts, Ch. 1, Differing Perspectives on Quality—Functional Finance,” p. 48, 2016.

[viii] Davis at 1.

[ix] Id. at 1.

[x] Id. at 1.

[xi] Gettinger, Marilyn, “Iona College—TQM, Foster Part I, Understanding Concepts, Ch. 1, Differing Perspectives on Quality, p. 35, 43, 47, 2016.

[xii] Davis at 1-2.

[xiii] Davis at 2.

[xiv] Id. at 2.

[xv] Id. at 2.

[xvi] Id. at 2.

[xvii] Id. at 1; Gettinger, Marilyn, “Iona College—TQM, Foster Part I, Understanding Concepts, Ch. 2, Quality Theory—Genichi Taguchi, p. 75, 2016.

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