The 2022 federal election campaign is getting into top gear, and in the countdown to the May 21 polling date new research shows that Australian voters generally trust Labor more than they trust the Coalition on issues to do with security, continuity and accountability in the financial services industry.

The research show the obvious demarcations along political affiliation lines, with Labor voters understandably saying they trust Labor more on all of these issues, and Coalition voters saying they trust the Coalition more.

Overall, around a quarter (25 per cent) of the more than 500 respondents to the survey said they planned to vote for the coalition at the 2022 election, and 27 per cent said they were most likely to vote Labor. About 22 per cent said they would not vote for a political party or an independent, or were undecided.

CoreData’s Q1 2022 Trust in Financial Services survey of 509 Australians aged 18 or older shows that around three in 10 (30 per cent) overall trust Labor more to ensure the superannuation system serves the best interests of super fund members. Around a quarter (24 per cent) of voters overall trust the Coalition more. Clearly, respondents who regard themselves as Labor voters trust Labor more than the Coalition; and respondents who regard themselves as Coalition voters trust the Coalition more.

It’s a similar story with who Australians trust most not to tinker with the superannuation rules after the election. Here, the major parties are neck-and-neck (24 per cent trust the Coalition most, 23 per cent trust Labor most) but about the same proportion (25 per cent) say they do not know.

Labor is trusted by somewhat more voters (29 per cent) than the Coalition (25 per cent) to ensure the regulation of the financial services industry is strong, but Labor is trusted noticeably more (28 per cent) than the Coalition (19 per cent) to give the corporate regulators – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority – the funding and resources they need to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Labor is also trusted more (30 per cent) than the Coalition (19 per cent) to ensure protection of consumers of financial services is strong, to ensure financial services companies are effectively called to account for any wrongdoing (27 per cent versus 16 per cent) and to ensure executives of financial services businesses are held to account for how the companies they work for treat consumers (27 per cent versus 15 per cent).

Trust is difficult to measure in politics, because so much of people’s opinions of politicians is formed through a relatively superficial relationship – mostly the through what they see and hear in the media. And political affiliations can be longstanding and rusted on, deeply influenced by friends and family, and not easily shifted by the issues of the moment.

Nevertheless, Australians have a low level of stated trust in both state/territory and federal politicians. Only around a quarter of Australians trust either, with only 27 per cent rating their trust in state/territory politicians as a six or higher on a scale from 0 to 10; and only 24 per cent rating their trust in federal politicians as six or better.

By comparison, trust in paramedics and nurses stands at better than 90 per cent, and trust in pharmacists, GPs, medical specialists, engineers and teachers stands at 80 per cent or better.

And in case you were wondering, trust in financial planners at 47 per cent in Q1 this year is down a bit from 51 per cent the previous quarter, but consistent with where it’s been since the end of 2020. It’s lower than actuaries, lawyers, psychologists, accountants and police. But it’s better than executives of retail and industry super funds, bank execs, real estate agents, our political friends, and insurance company executives. So that’s something.

CoreData global chief executive Andrew Inwood will deliver more research insights at the Professional Planner Licensee Summit in June.

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