National Culture and (Dis)trust in Banks: Cross-Country Evidence

Economic Notes, 2020

Posted: 12 May 2020

See all articles by Muzaffar Olimjonovich Ahunov

Muzaffar Olimjonovich Ahunov

Endicott College, Woosong University

Leo Van Hove

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 17, 2020


We examine to what extent a specific aspect of national culture — uncertainty avoidance — can explain cross‐country variations in (dis)trust in banks. Relying on data from the World Values Survey, we find that trust in banks is lower in countries that score high for Hofstede's uncertainty avoidance index. Similarly, with Global Findex data, we find that financial exclusion due to a lack of trust in banks is high in high uncertainty avoidance cultures. These results highlight the need for a more culturally aware approach when designing consumer protection measures for the banking sector.

Keywords: Distrust, Financial Exclusion, Hofstede, National Culture, Trust in Banks

JEL Classification: D18, D81, G20, G21, G41

Suggested Citation

Ahunov, Muzaffar Olimjonovich and Van Hove, Leo, National Culture and (Dis)trust in Banks: Cross-Country Evidence (April 17, 2020). Economic Notes, 2020, Available at SSRN:

Muzaffar Olimjonovich Ahunov (Contact Author)

Endicott College, Woosong University ( email )

27 Baengnyong-ro 57beon-gil
Jayang-dong, Daejeon
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Leo Van Hove

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Department of Applied Economics (APEC)
Pleinlaan 5
Brussels, B-1050
+32 2 614 84 49 (Phone)


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