Survey says, the bigger the bank, the less people trust them

It's no revelation that big banks have an image problem these days. And to add proof to what we'd already suspected, a new report from Forrester Research shows that America's biggest banks are the least trusted banks in the country.

Forrester Research ranked almost 50 financial services firms in the United States, asking approximately 4,500 people if they agree with the following statement: "My financial provider does what's best for me, not just its own bottom line."

With the percentage of respondents who agreed with that statement ranging between 33% and 16%, the bottom seven of this year's rankings were, in order, Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, TD/Commerce, Fifth Third, Citibank and, at the very, very bottom, HSBC.

But this isn't just due to the bailouts. As American Banking News points out, these banks have been at the bottom of the survey for the past seven years.

Just out of curiosity, I contacted a well-regarded corporate image consultant who specializes in branding to see if he had any suggestions for how the banks could regain their customers' trust.

I expected some optimism, but just as a measure of how deep a hole the big banks now find themselves in, Adam Hanft, CEO of the branding firm Hanft Projects, wasn't able to give me much.