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“The least trusted company in the least trusted sector”

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Last week, when delivering his announcements of Royal Bank of Scotland’s continuing losses (£42 billion worth since 2008 and £8.2 billion last year alone), Ross McEwan said that the bank is “the least trusted company in the least trusted sector”.


First, RBS is not greatly trusted but some of their brands are.

Most-trusted-logoAccording to a survey performed by Harris Interactive in August 2013, NatWest is slightly more trusted than Barclays, Santander, Lloyds (HBOS) and HSBC, resulting in their branches proudly displaying the sign: “thank you for voting us Britain’s most trusted mainstream bank” (although this was based upon their award by MoneyWise) .

The survey asked several thousand consumers: “for each of the following companies, to what extent do you agree or disagree that your relationship is based on trust?” and covered various industry sectors.

Here’s the scores for the banking industry:

Bank trust


Compare this with the mobile network providers:

Mobile services

Or energy companies:

Energy providers

And you can see that banks are  not in the least trusted industry, but are more trusted than some other mainstream service providers.

Equally, within the sector, the Co-operative Group (who own Smile, the internet only bank) are more trusted than First Direct and Nationwide (this was before the Crystal Methodist Minister Paul Flowers affair however).

The Co-operative Group's trust:

Co-operative Smile

First Direct:

First Direct -trust

Nationwide Building Society:

Nationwide BS

Here’s RBS though:

RBS trust

So yes, RBS does appear to be the least trusted business in a reasonably well trusted industry.


Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, 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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