By Daniel Hunter

Despite the turbulent times banks have faced over the past few years, it seems that consumers have not been put off from sharing their personal information with the big four and more.

68% of British consumers trust banks to keep their data safe; far more than other industry sectors like retailers and charities, according to new research from Interxion, a leading European provider of carrier-neutral colocation data centre services.

Most trusted sector to handle personal information:

1. Financial Services — 68%
2. Retail — 15%
3. Charity — 9%

This is despite the fact that when asked which sector they thought was the most trustworthy, only one in ten respondents to the survey said financial services, which came third after healthcare (26%) and charity (14%).

With research identifying that better customer intelligence from big data could deliver £73.8 billion to the UK economy by 2017, organisations need to get their heads around changing and sometimes contradictory consumer attitudes to their personal data. A third (31%) of consumers stated that they would be extremely concerned if their bank details were stolen, yet almost four in ten of us have shared our PIN number with a colleague, friend or family member.

The survey also found that 17% of the UK would sell their bank details, passport details or internet passwords for just £5,000, although this varied between age groups. The 55+ demographic are the most cautious with their data, with 96% of the age group refusing to sell their passport details for £5,000, whereas 11% of 18-24 year olds would be happy to sell off their passport details for the same sum of money.

The advent of the internet has had a big impact on how people share their personal information, with one in three people sharing less, compared to only 20% who share more. Four in ten people also admit that social media makes them more cautious about sharing personal information online.

“In a world where data is becoming ever more valuable with real time data mining, organisations need to take note of changing consumer attitudes to sharing their personal information,” commented Doug Loewe, UK Managing Director, Interxion. “If businesses are to reap the rewards of data then it’s crucial to maintain consumer trust, particularly as data security is an issue that continues to hit the headlines. While it’s great to see banks coming out on top when it comes to consumer trust around their personal data, financial services organisations need to proactively communicate the stringent measures they have in place to keep customer data safe, or risk losing out.”

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