The Moderating Effects of Financial Broad-scope Trust on Consumer Knowledge, Cognitive Effort, and Financial Healthiness

Torben Hansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Substantial research results suggest the global financial crisis has negatively affected consumers' trust in financial service providers. Notably, trust not only relates to consumer trust in individual companies but also relates to the broader business context in which consumers may plan and carry out their financial behavior. This latter form of trust can be referred to as "broad-scope" trust (BST). BST is especially important in a society context because lack of BST may reduce financial market dynamism, competition, and productivity. Consequently, financial service providers assume an important social responsibility in order to develop BST. Unfortunately, not much is known about the interplay between BST and consumer financial behavior. Based on two surveys comprising 1155 bank consumers and 756 mutual fund investors, respectively, this study investigates the moderating influence of BST on relations between knowledge, cognitive effort, and financial healthiness and also examines the direct influence of BST on cognitive effort and financial healthiness. The results indicate that BST negatively moderates relations between knowledge and financial healthiness and between cognitive effort and financial healthiness. In addition, it is demonstrated that BST negatively influences cognitive effort and positively influences financial healthiness. Our results demonstrate the importance of developing BST as it may ease the burdens put on consumers' financial knowledge and processing capabilities, which in turn may facilitate their financial well-being.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Consumer Behaviour
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)161-175
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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