THURSDAY 28 OCT 2010 7:42 AM


One in six people in the UK say they no longer trust companies, according to new research conducted by Lansons Communications and Opinium.

The study reveals the 50 companies most trusted by the British public, with Marks & Spencer in top spot with almost twice as many mentions as second placed John Lewis.

Yet it also shows "corporate Britain has a problem with trust", according to Lansons chief executive Tony Langham. Some 17% of the population say they don’t trust any companies anymore, while 31% say ‘trust is not really a feeling they have about companies’. The league table is based on just over half (52%) of people, who state they still trust ‘a few’ companies, asking them to list the companies they still trusted.

While M&S tops the list, it seems ownership models have a part to play in the ranking. In the current ‘crisis of capitalism’ the mutual ownership models of John Lewis and the Co-operative fare well with the public, ranking them 2nd and 6th respectively – with Nationwide following in 16th.
There are nine banks and building societies in the top 50 while BP features at number 30 in the table.
“Over the last 20 years we can trace the roots of this loss of trust from excessive bonuses to pensions mis-selling and oil spills, but it may also be based on personal experience,” said Langham. “According to Opinium, only 34% say that the company they work for cares equally about its customers doing well as about its own profits, while 40% say their company cares more about its profits than its customers. For many, therefore, experience at work sows seeds of distrust of other companies.”