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Banking … better than cigarettes, but worse than Toyota

I just downloaded Harris Interactive’s 11th annual reputation survey of America’s most visible companies.

The reputation survey assesses companies on a scale of twenty attributes in six dimensions …


… and, during the first six weeks of 2010, Harris Interactive interviewed almost 30,000 people to see what they thought of America's 60 "most visible" brands.

The results are fascinating, with the Top 10 most reputable firms being:

#1 Berkshire Hathaway with a Reputation Quotient of 82.33
#2 Johnson & Johnson                                               81.88
#3 Google                                                                 81.49
#4 3M                                                                       80.96
#5 SC Johnson                                                           80.76
#6 Intel                                                                     80.13
#7 Microsoft                                                              79.83
#8 Coca-Cola                                                             79.81
#9 Amazon                                                                79.57
#10 General Mills                                                       79.46

And the least reputable firms are:

#51 Delta Airlines                                                      59.57
#52 Bank of America                                                  57.72
#53 JPMorgan Chase                                                  55.67
#54 General Motors                                                    53.60
#55 Chrysler                                                              51.90
#56 Goldman Sachs                                                    51.36
#57 Citigroup                                                            50.57
#58 Fannie Mae                                                         41.77
#59 AIG                                         
#60 Freddie Mac                                                       38.94

Goldman Sachs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make the list for the first time ever and are viewed very poorly. Firms that were involved in TARP payouts fared badly, with the biggest drop in reputation of the whole list being Bank of America, a drop of 4.92 points over last year.

AIG took a drop of 4.55 points, but at least they weren’t bottom of the list as they were last year. Nevertheless, they fail to score over 50 RQ points, a position that ranks them with Enron, Worldcom, MCI and Global Crossing after their collapses back in the early 2000s.

The good news is that Financial Services has also moved off the bottom of the industry list. Last year only 11% of Americans had a good thing to say about the industry and it came in last, just under the tobacco industry, as the least reputable industry sector in the USofA.

This year, financial services leaped to 16% favourable ratings, a five percent improvement and makes finance the second most hated sector, as tobacco still languishes at the bottom, down at 11%.

Mind you, with the automotive industry jumping 9% after Toyota’s issues, that’s not saying much.

Meanwhile, the study is worth a look if you like watching the banking industry’s own car crash news … whoops, didn’t mean that.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here…

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