Rebuilding Trust in the Banking Sector: Engaging with Readers in Corporate Press Releases

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The financial crisis and various international scandals are widely viewed as having eroded trust in the banking sector, leading to calls for banks to act urgently to rebuild trust among stakeholders. This chapter examines one type of stakeholder communication, namely press releases on the subject of customer complaints, and aims to identify mechanisms by which the UK bank Barclays engages with customers as a means of regaining their trust. It shows that, through reader reference and transitivity structures in which readers (and writer) are projected into particular roles, Barclays seeks to demonstrate ability and benevolence, two of the three dimensions of an organisation’s trustworthiness (Mayer et al. 1995), and that the emphasis shifts from one to the other over time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngagement in Professional Genres
EditorsCarmen Sancho Guinda
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262943
ISBN (Print)9789027202185
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePragmatics & Beyond New Series
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN (Print)0922-842X


  • Banking
  • Engagement
  • Press releases
  • Transitivity
  • Trust rebuilding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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