Pearlfinders found that 21.7 per cent of those polled planned to invest in consumer PR in the first half of 2013, up 8.4 per cent on the same period last year.
Anthony Cooper, MD of Pearlfinders, said: ‘Banks are facing up to the scale of the task required to change public perception and the consequences of standing still.
‘The sector has a renewed appetite for strategic ideas and PR support, but having been burnt before, many brands remain cautious over how to proceed.’
The findings were based on discussions with more than 120 in-house PR budget holders.
The research also suggests that the sector is increasingly turning its attention to younger consumers, with 12.2 per cent targeting the youth market – more than double last year’s figure.
Cooper added: ‘Real uncertainty remains in banks’ outreach to young people as to where and how they should be addressed.’