British trust in businesses drops, as trust in France and the US soars

The British public's trust in businesses has deteriorated in the last six months in direct contrast to other nations, according to the Edelman Mid-Year Trust Barometer.

Robert Phillips: CEO, Edelman UK
Robert Phillips: CEO, Edelman UK

The UK has seen trust slide from 46 per cent in January to 44 per cent this month. But France, Germany, India and the US have all seen a rise, with US trust rising by 12 per cent and France by 11 per cent.

Nearly 50 per cent of those polled in the UK believed the country is heading in the wrong direction, 50 per cent thought business wouldn’t be trusted again until at least 2011, and 44 per cent didn’t expect economic recovery to happen before 2011 at the earliest.

The Edelman UK team commissioned further research to discover how far the recent MPs’ expenses scandal had damaged trust in authority institutions.

Of the 1000 adults polled, 71 per cent said they didn’t trust Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and 65 per cent said they trusted him less than six months ago. Over two thirds of those asked said they trusted Government less than six months ago.

'Britain has hardened from a nation of sceptics to a nation of cynics,' said Edelman UK's CEO Robert Phillips. 'For the media-informed publics surveyed for the Trust Barometer, there are no green shoots of Trust recovery. If anything, the shoots are brown, albeit with a small 'B',' he added.

The Edelman Mid-Year Trust Barometer is an abridged version of the agency’s annual trust survey. It sampled 1,675 informed publics in two age groups (25-34 and 35-64) in six countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, and China.

This global group said the overall global rise in trust was due to businesses taking tangible actions. Repaying bailout money was the most likely action to increase trust (81 per cent), reducing CEO pay came next with 80 per cent and firing non-performing management teams was also a winner at 78 per cent.

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