In its recently released “Domestic Threat Assessment”—a list of significant events that could threaten the United States over the next 30 to 50 years—Politico highlights several predictable challenges. Among them are climate change, nukes, and of course COVID-19 related threats.

But taking second place on the list is the continuing attack on public confidence in our key institutions. Trust in our institutions — including our businesses — is a critical point of vulnerability for us today. “Trust and truth are the foundations of free and open societies,” said Sue Gordon, a career intelligence officer. A lack of these principles can create chaos in organizations and society as a whole.

Firms that fail to guard against an erosion of their trustworthiness will suffer. A prime cause of such trust erosion is internal misconduct and poor culture. Firms need to attend to that immediately by taking steps to understand and manage their culture and conduct risks.

To learn more about our thinking on how these concerns impact the financial sector, please see Starling’s 2020 Compendium.