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Online banks are failing to win the trust of their customers, who still have more faith in bricks and mortar high street branches according to research released yesterday by ICM Research.

Online banking is growing fast, with 3.9 million of us logging on to manage our finances according to figures from Datamonitor PLC. But ICM’s study of 1,000 people nationwide found trust in high street banks has increased by nine per cent-from 73 to 82 per cent-since the last time the survey was conducted in 2000.

This is in stark contrast to confidence in web-based offerings, which has remained at seven per cent across both surveys. Strangely one of the groups which displayed a marked decrease in trust in these new brands was perhaps the one banks would most hope to woo — 18- to 24-year-olds. This group showed a decline from 15 per cent to just six per cent this year; less than 35- to 44-year-olds, 10 per cent of whom trusted online brands most.

But on the bright side our trust in banks in general has increased since 2000, with just five per cent of respondents claiming to have no trust in financial institutions this year-online or otherwise-as opposed to 14 per cent in the previous survey.