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Bank customers would share more data for benefits - report

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By Imani Moise

(Reuters) – Most consumers worldwide would share more personal data with banks and insurers in exchange for cheaper services despite privacy concerns, according to an Accenture Plc study released on Thursday.

Six in 10 consumers polled by the management consultancy, one of the world’s largest, said they would share data such as lifestyle habits if they received benefits ranging from gym membership discounts to offers based on their location.

Among 47,000 consumers surveyed across 28 countries, 81 percent said they would be willing to share more data with banks for faster loan approvals, while 79 percent would provide personal information to their insurer if it would reduce the odds of injury or loss.

While eager to share more, 75 percent of respondents said they were very cautious about privacy. Rising costs were cited as the top reason for leaving a financial institution, followed by data security breaches.

Large financial firms have been seeking to tap into their vast troves of customer data to offer more personalized services, even as technology companies face growing public scrutiny over how they handle such information. But banks have been relatively slow in making headway, partly because they often store the information in various systems.

“That sort of has not allowed banks take advantage of what we think is an enormous potential,” Accenture Senior Managing Director Bruce Holley said in an interview.

More than 30 percent of respondents trust their bank more than a year ago, partly because of strong industry oversight, Holley said. “People have been trained that the regulations are looking out for them.”

(Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Anna Irrera and Richard Chang)

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