Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine fairness within financial services. In making the contribution the authors examine fairness by four different channels to market and across a range of financial services products. The product categories in the study are those with the highest density levels in the UK. Design/methodology/approach – Underpinned by the development of new measures, this paper is based on telephone interviews and on-line surveys with UK customers of financial services. More than 1,000 customers participated in the survey during the middle of 2013. After reporting the measurement model, the authors use ANOVA to report the differences in the perception of the dimensions of fairness by channel to market. Findings – The authors found there to be significant differences in perceptions using different channels to market. The research shows that where a face-to-face interaction takes place, such as branch contact, they are perceived to be fairer than when interactions are more remote. Given the dimensions of fairness, this reveals the importance of communications during explanations so that interactions are deemed to be fair. Research limitations/implications – The focus of this research was the examination of fairness within the setting of the UK’s financial services sector. The authors are minded that if the research is replicated in other countries or contexts then different aspects of fairness might emerge. Practical implications – Given the challenges faced by the financial services sector, there are implications for practitioners because they must be seen to be treating customers fairly. The research shows that remote contact such as the internet is not perceived as being as fair as face-to-face contact. The fair treatment of customers is likely to lead to positive brand benefits. Originality/value – This study complements the understanding of fairness and provides insight for scholars and practitioners, within financial services.
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